Institutionalizing service-learning in student affairs
Bodrick, Jabari Talib
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The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore how institutionalized student affairs service-learning offices define service-learning, the process upper-level administrators, student affairs educators, and faculty members go through to institutionalize service-learning in student affairs divisions, and the faculty development practices employed by student affairs educators in student affairs divisions. The seven administrators and six faculty members who participated in this study were employees at North Carolina Campus Compact (NCCC) and South Carolina Campus Compact (SCCC) member institutions. More specifically, this study included 13 total participants from three NCCC institutions and three SCCC institutions. The data for this study were gathered through document analysis and semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was conducted with a social constructivist philosophical worldview. I analyzed each case study’s data individually, conducted a cross-case analysis, and then identified patterns that emerged from the documents and the interviews. The Furco Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of Service-Learning in Higher Education and the Campus Compact Service-Learning Pyramid were employed to identify each participating institution’s commitment to institutionalized service-learning. The six institutions described in this study represented various levels of service-learning institutionalization. However, the service-learning definitions, service-learning institutionalization processes, and faculty development practices identified at these institutions were consistent with the service-learning standards found in the service-learning literature. Each institution allocated the human, financial, and organizational resources needed to institutionalize service-learning. The student affairs educators and the faculty members universally approved of service-learning’s organizational placement at their respective institutions. The findings provide evidence service-learning can be institutionalized in student affairs and that student affairs educators are qualified to equally share leadership of an institution’s service-learning efforts with their academic affairs counterparts.