Service Learning Project Helps BSC and Surrounding Communities (w/photo)
College students helping people in their community through service projects relevant to the students' classwork--that's the backbone of "community service learning," a national project that has taken flight at Bluefield State College. "Our purpose is to supply people for existing service organizations," BSC service learning coordinator Don Kensinger noted. "Needs within a community are identified, and with some faculty assistance, students' projects will fit into service activities outside the classroom." BSC serves as a matchmaker, Kensinger said, pairing students' interests and academic pursuits with community projects that can benefit from volunteers. The BSC service learning coordinator has seen the project get off to a rousing start. "We had more than 80 volunteers--students, faculty, and staff--who helped with the recent Bluefield Coal Show," he said. "It is our experience that "service learning" is also expanding its parameters--with many students, faculty, and staff volunteering for community service in areas other than their field of expertise." Kensinger has visited with the BSC Greek Council, Student Government Association, and other student-based organizations. "There are so many opportunities for volunteerism within our area," he added. "Students, faculty, and staff at BSC are already taking part in numerous volunteer projects. The service learning program here will help us to coordinate and expand our volunteerism, with a focus upon the needs within the community and the talents of the program participants at the College." Members of the BSC family are going to be involved in "You Can Make a Difference Day," October 25. Anyone seeking additional information on service learning may contact Kensinger at (304) 327-4102 or (304) 327-7576. "The project is an exciting one. Through service learning, we can help students, faculty, and staff evaluate and rethink their commitment to community," he concluded.