During this process, faculty and students work in partnerships with community representatives to positively contribute to local and global communities by addressing community interests and needs through the creation and translation of course or program specific skills and knowledge.

And beyond the outcomes of a given semester, each member of a service-learning partnership not only receives certain immediate benefits, but more importantly, each is open to the new possibilities for how they and their partners are able to continue contributing positively to communities throughout ones lifetime.

In Communication Studies, students are given the opportunity to engage in service-learning in a class, which couples instruction and implementation.

Examples (Project-Based)

Advocacy Workshop, Greg Goodale

During this course, students will employ knowledge learned in the classroom and during their coop experiences to work with the instructor and professionals at The Home for Little Wanderers to lobby legislators and develop public advocacy plans relating to the mission of The Home. Thus students will study Massachusetts’ legislative rules and laws pertaining to adoption and social services for at-risk youth, foster children, and children in state care. Over the course of the semester, students will develop public advocacy plans, meet with policy-makers about the focus issues, and consider Media Outreach as The Home for Little Wanderers builds on the work the students have performed.

Advocacy Writing, Greg Goodale

Rhetoric is a discipline that has for 2,500 years been dedicated to the art and practice of persuasion. Thus students will get the experience of writing both for an academic audience about subjects of concern to the discipline, and for a general audience in an effort to persuade. Students will study and write about an issue and its audience, then write a scholarly paper that employs critical thinking about the issue and audience. Then students will translate that work into advocacy materials for non-profit organizations including a press release, a message memo, and a speech.
Community Partners:
BAGLY (Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Youth)
Office of the Governor, Deval Patrick
My Life My Choice
Transition House
Partners for Youth with Disabilities

Public Speaking, Greg Goodale

This course will develop skills in communicating orally to small and large groups. Students will all research facets of the given topic- gender equality in America- and learn to organize and deliver a variety of speeches and arguments. This is a Service-Learning course and students will take lessons from the course to teach at-risk youth public speaking and personal empowerment through our partner organization Girls’ LEAP. Public Speaking students will learn how to handle speech anxiety, listen critically, and adapt language to an audience while discovering how to think on their feet. The course offers the opportunity for students to present a series of speeches and receive advice and criticism from an audience. Furthermore, students in the class will teach and mentor at-risk girls in the greater Boston area so that these girls can avoid or negotiate out of conflict and eventually become community leaders.

Organizational Communication Training & Development, Elise Dallimore

This course includes a service-learning component whereby you will participate in a semester-long training project. You will complete a needs assessment, develop a training contract, conduct organizational training and then evaluate the effectiveness of the training as delivered. The service-learning component is an application-based activity designed to provide you with an educational opportunity that meets identified community needs and encourages reflection upon the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of the course content and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

Consultation Skills, Elise Dallimore

The conceptual framework of the course is based upon a view of consulting as both an instructionally-oriented and research-based activity. This course is designed to provide you with the opportunity: (a) to understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate consultation principles and practices through a variety of instructional activities (e.g., small group activities, written responses, oral presentations, etc.), (b) to participate in the consultation process through participation in a variety of case studies, research, instructional activities, and a service-learning consulting project, (c) to critically examine the role of communication as it influences organizational functioning, the role of the consultant in organizational problem solving, and the factors which impact the consultant’s choices and the selection of consultation strategies. These experiences are intended to facilitate your understanding of your own communication behaviors (and those of others) and your ability to work with organizational members to facilitate the improved performance of their communication-based skills.

For more information, please visit the webpage for Service-Learning in the College of Arts, Media, and Design.