New resource at SMWC promotes service learning

October 13th, 2014 | SMWC

Service Learning Center
Jamie McCracken, associate professor of business at SMWC, stands in front of the new Service Learning Center.

Students at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) routinely put faith into action through numerous community service projects. Community service is embedded into the curriculum and student organizations as a learning strategy to teach civic responsibility. To further advance the role that community service plays in the student experience at The Woods, a new resource is now available – the Service Learning Center.

“The Service Learning Center is another way for the College to further embrace community service,” states Jamie McCracken, associate professor of business at SMWC. “There is nothing that serves the mission of SMWC more than giving back to the community.”

The Service Learning Center will compile project information this fall. Project data and community service opportunities will be available on the Service Learning Center website.

Faculty, staff and students will use the Service Learning Center as a resource for community service opportunities. Incorporating this resource into campus life will encourage faculty, staff and students to make community service a part of their personal lives as well. 

Jamie McCracken - Service Learning Center
Faculty, staff and students will use the Service Learning Center at SMWC as a resource for community service opportunities.

A few of the College’s major service projects include alternative break service trips, Operation Wabashiki clean-up effort and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

McCracken describes VITA as the perfect example of students applying what they learn in the classroom to real world situations, while giving back to the community. Each spring, students participating in the VITA Program are trained to assist citizens with their federal and state income tax returns. In 2014, the VITA site at SMWC completed 290 tax returns amounting to over $70,000 of services provided at no charge.

“We have many classes and clubs that participate in service learning projects. The Center is a way to collect data and archive that information,” states McCracken. “We will list service learning opportunities to bring community organizations and faculty, staff and students together to help our community.”

The Service Learning Center, located on the second floor of Hulman Hall. For more information, visit www.smwc.edu/slc or contact Jamie McCracken at jmccracken(at)smwc.edu or (812) 535-5260.

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