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Academic Service-Learning

Academic service-learning at St. John’s University is a classroom/ experiential site- based program that involves students in some form of required community service that benefits the common (public) good and uses service as a means of understanding course concepts. The service activity meets course objectives, and through reflection students examine issues pertaining to social justice and responsibility.

“I loved participating. I am truly changed for the better after my service learning. I now want to give back and do more. It is a feeling I have never felt before and something I plan on doing more. I want to thank St. John’s for the life changing opportunity.” First Year Student 2016-2017

Community Service Sites 

Five Validating Factors of Academic Service-Learning

  1. Academic service-learning must be part of an academic course, with a designated number of service hours and specific learning objectives
  2. It must serve a real and existing need identified by the community agency
  3. It must be for course credit only; no financial reward for service
  4. There must be a reciprocal relationship – service reinforces learning and  learning strengthens service; benefits for both SJU students and the community site
  5. Academic service-learning must have a reflective component

AS-L Highlights from Spring 2017

Special Topics in Computer Science (Mobile Health Technology: Dr. Nikhil Yadav - CUS 1194

Dr. Nikhil Yadav led his students in an innovative AS-L project which involved writing a run tracking mobile application for the Ronald McDonald House of New York. Student teams designed mobile applications for both the Android and iOS platforms using location tracking to plot runs at different times on a map interface. The applications allow a user to see details pertaining to their previous runs including: routes on a map, paths they were faster or slower on, calories burned, and specific fitness goals achieved. Data analytics and visualization functionality was also implemented using graphs within the app, allowing for a user to easily see their progress over time.

Student’s involved:Yi Yi Zhang (Lily), Jeanel Sunga, John Fullam, Alfayed Baksh (Travis), Juan Guerrero

Philosophy of the Human Person - Philosophy 1000C & Ethics PHI 2200C: Dr. S. Joshua Thomas

(AS-L Global Course, South Africa)

Dr. S. Joshua Thomas developed AS-L Global components for two of his courses. Over the last three semesters as part of the Philosophy of the Human Person course Dr. Thomas and his students worked with SKY a youth organization in Kliptown, South Africa remotely. This AS-L project allowed students the unique opportunity to communicate with youth in South Africa via SKYPE and to help fulfill the needs of a youth center located on a different continent without ever having to travel outside the U.S. As part of this project students conducted a book drive to help SKY build their library content. The drive resulted in over a 1000 religious and educational books being collected and shipped to the center. The following semester, the needs of the organization were reevaluated and students embarked on a crowd funding campaign to help SKY raise sufficient funds to repair the roof of their main facility. This past spring the students in the Philosophy of the Human Person course combined their crowd funding efforts with students from Dr. Thomas’ Ethics course and collectively raised over $7000 to help SKY provide school uniforms for children in need and assist with much needed maintenance and beautification of the center. Students in Dr. Thomas’ Ethics course traveled to South Africa at the end of the spring semester during which time they participated in an AS-L project at SKY which included, painting the facilities, planting in SKY’s garden and interacting with the SKY community. In addition, one of the students who has a passion for soccer raised a significant amount of NIKE soccer gear which she delivered to the youth at SKY. She was able to share her passion for soccer in with the youth at the center through lessons and games. 

Above Photos by: Thabang Nkwanyana

Inside/Out Prison Exchange:  Dr. Judith Ryder - Sociology 2010

Dr. Judith Ryder has helped to create a dynamic partnership between SJU and Rikers Island Jail with a course that brings our “outside” students together with those “inside” in order to gain a deep understanding of crime, justice and social inequality. This AS-L project promotes the dignity and worth of all people, especially the poor and marginalized, which is at the heart of our SJU Mission. During the spring semester as part of the AS-L component of the course the students published a newspaper intended to build bridges from the inside out. 

Watch the Video Below to Learn More About AS-L at SJU

Watch the Video Below to Learn How to Print Your Service Time Log & Report Your Service Hours 

Contact US

Office of Academic Service-Learning
Vincentian Institute for Social Action
Lourdes Hall
718-990-8331
asl@stjohns.edu

Office Hours
Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.