SPV is an elective subject that has been part of the Human Formation and Values, a transversal university program at the University of Deusto, since 2010.
Each year we receive around 150 students, who are later distributed in groups of 15 students representing different degrees, and guided by 8 university teachers, who offer a service of 80 hours (50 hours in 2020-2021 due to the covid restrictions) in different programmes of 20 organisations and social institutions (Cáritas, Fundación Peñascal, Gorabide, EISE Leioa, Bakuva, Argia, CEAR, Ellacuría, Itaka….). There is a coordinator at the university responsible for establishing the initial contact with the organisations involved and assigning students to each project according to their preferences.
The service consists of carrying out tasks mainly based on providing educational support and leisure activities for persons in a situation of or at risk of social exclusion due to a variety of personal, academic or social circumstances. The tutors, provided by the social organisations, supervise and guide the students, giving them opportunities to contribute to the work in hand. They also engage in a regular dialogue with the university teachers.
The learning depends on responding to a social need. This requires students to make use of previous know-how and skills, reflect on the actions they take and the experience they gain from it, and to identify what new know-how and skills they need to develop in the future. At the University, they receive training on social skills, including seminars on active listening and conflict resolution, social inclusion and exclusion. In addition, they meet fortnightly for reflecting on and exchanging their experiences in small groups facilitated by each of the participating teachers. They note down their experiences and reflections in a field diary.
The project evaluation is undertaken via individual reports prepared by each student. This enables to document the accomplished work and provide supporting evidence to justify how well the project has been implemented and whether it has achieved its objectives. The evaluation, carried out by the tutors of the participating in the project organisations, and students’ self-assessment and reflection on personal and civic learning have a specific weight in the final, overall evaluation.