Service-learning, a teaching method that integrates instruction with meaningful community service, has become an integral part of an OLOL College education. Through this program, OLOL College students have given over 68,000 service-learning hours working for others. The College is pleased to report that based on the valuation designated by experts, OLOL College students have provided over $1 million of in-kind service to the community.
The estimated value of volunteer time is established each year by the Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations, and individuals that publishes research important to the nonprofit sector. The estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to make a difference in the community.
From June 2009 to June 2014, Our Lady of the Lake College students gave 68,084 service-learning hours working in collaboration with the College’s many community partners. The average of the Independent Sector’s in-kind value during that time frame is $19.10 per hour, bringing the total in-kind value of the College’s student service to $1,303,400.50. OLOL College service-learning students work with over 90 community partners who serve in sixteen parishes across southeast Louisiana.
The Service-Learning program at the College has been developed by and coordinated through the Office of Service-Learning, directed by Rhoda Reddix, Ph.D. “It is exciting to see that our student’s service now tops over a million in-kind dollars. But I can tell you this . . . the service itself is invaluable to everyone involved: the community partners, the people in the community who are helped, and the students themselves. Service-learning both supports engaged learning and reinforces the College’s Franciscan mission,” she explained.
An important part of the service-learning process is for students to write down their thoughts afterwards. A reflection from a nursing student after a service-learning experience at St. Martha’s Activity Center was, “I cannot begin to explain how this experience further proved that nursing is exactly what I want to do.”