Promoting Service-Learning in the UAB through Final Degree Projects

Leaflet SL UABOur program is a transverse university program which aim is to maximize the number of students doing their Final Degree Project (FDP) with Service-Learning methodology. This program is focused on three different actors:

  1. a) social and environmental organizations and institutions
  2. b) university teachers
  3. c) university students

What we do is to encourage social organizations to present us challenges based on their necessities or the necessities of their beneficiaries through an application form. In first place, we analyse those application forms and we go back to the organizations to clarify those forms that are not clear enough or that we don’t think they will fit in with an FDP. Secondly, we distribute the challenges to the different university schools (law, politics, education, engineering, etc.) and together with S-L representative of each faculty we analyse the best way to push them through in order to be offered to the students of the different school degrees. At the same time, we promote S-L among students and professors doing conferences and trainings.

Once challenges have been chosen, we connect the student and its tutor to the organization that has suggest the challenge, and we keep checking the development of the S-L experience from time to time. At the end of the university year, we ask the three actors to evaluate their experience through short surveys and to fill a S-L request with the details of the project in order to certificate it as a proper Service-Learning experience.

Moreover, we offer students the possibility to submit their projects to the S-L Mention of the Sustainable Development and Global Justice FDP Awards.

After many years of S-L experiences in the university carried out by professors, two years ago the UAB decided to give political and financial support to implement this methodology throughout the university. Also with the financial support of Barcelona City Council and the experience of some professors and the Fundació Autònoma Solidària, different structures were created such as the Service-Learning Office, a S-L innovation project and different working groups, one of them with representatives of all UAB schools.

Further information: http://pagines.uab.cat/aps/ca

Social Need/s Covered by the Service-Learning Experience

  • The service component meets a real civic need.
  • The social need was identified through reliable strategy.
  • S-L experiences are appropriate to participants’ academic course.

Link the Experience to the SDGs

Our program increases the commitment of the university to improve people’s lives, so it contributes to the university social responsibility. The program facilitates the university contribution to different SDG. The specific SDG depends on each experience. For example, we promote experiences contributing to SDG 3, 4, 5, 10, 13 or 15, among others.

Service Objectives

Service objectives are linked to curriculum.

Academic theory is viewed in a real-world context.

Learning objectives

Contents, specific and transversal competences are defined.
Defined learning objectives are reachable and measurable, for the specific S-L project

Link to curriculum

  • Academic theory is viewed in a real-world context.
  • S-L helps participants learn how to transfer knowledge and skills from one setting to another.

Activities carried out for achieving the service objectives

Activities of research, preparation, organization are done in all cases. Sometimes, students themselves, carry out the implementation and project closure and, in other cases, they just make the implementation proposal.

All these activities are done outside the classroom

Reflection

  • S-L helps participants identify and analyse different points of view to gain understanding of multiple perspectives.
  • S-L helps participants actively seek to understand and value the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those offering and receiving service.
  • Reflection encourages students to reflect upon the effects of the service.

Partnership & Reciprocity

  • S-L involves a variety of partners, including youth, educators, families, community members, community-based organizations, public administrations, and/or businesses.
  • S-L partners discussed and collaborate to establish a shared vision and set common objectives to address community needs.
  • Social entities are aware of the learning objectives.
  • S-L partners collaboratively develop and implement action plans to meet specified objectives.

Student voice

  • S-L engages students in generating ideas during the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes.
    S-L involves students in evaluating the quality and effectiveness of the S-L experience.

Evaluation and monitoring of processes and results

  • Evaluation is conducted by students/academic staff/community partners.
  • Support and coaching for students is ensured from academic staff.
  • Support and coaching for students is ensured from community partners

Celebration of the project and its results

  •  Students and social entities receive a certificate aknowledging the experience
  • Students are invited to participate in the FDP Awards

Dissemination activities

Dissemination activities are carried out by the different stakeholders.

Duration & Sustainability

  • It is expected that the activity will have an impact in the community after its closing.

Human and material resources

  • Teaching and research staff (academic tutors, S-L evaluation comitee)
  • Administrative and services staff (S-L Office)
  • Students
  • Professional staff (representatives of social entities)

Budget

S-L experiences are not financed. However, the UAB and Barcelona City Council finance the salary of the L-S Office technician, the student fellowship to give support to the S-L Office, the S-L Innovation Project, and some others indirect costs of the program.