Contribution of Community-University Partnership to Student Academic Progress and Employability

Time Thursday, 06/Sep/2018: 13:30 - 15:00
Location D1.03
Speakers Milosh Raykov; Alison Taylor; Dragica Pavlovic Babic; Francesco Arcidiacono; Aleksandar Baucal; Äli Leijen
Chair Pavel Zgaga

Universities are increasingly implementing various forms of work-integrated learning programs like service learning, community-based research, and cooperative education to encourage students' connections with the community and to develop their employability skills (Council of Ontario Universities, 2014). These programmes are partly a response to more challenging transition for graduates to the labour market. Community service learning includes a combination of classroom-and community-based student engagement with a particular emphasis on student reflections on their engagement (Butin, 2010; Furco, 1996). Several scholars (Adamuti-Trache et al., 2006; Finnie & Frenette, 2003, Lin et al., 2000) believe that student engagement in experiential learning programs is particularly relevant for liberal arts students trying to find their place in the labour market.

While there is a considerable number of evaluation studies that document the benefits of service-learning (SL) and community-based research (CBR) programs and best practices, much of this work is either descriptive and focused on quantitative measures, or qualitative and based on small populations of students. There is a paucity of studies that are grounded in learning theories and that document the processes leading to positive SL outcomes (Giles & Eyler, 1994; Jacoby, 1996). In addition, few studies focus on the value of SL for teacher education. Therefore, this EERA session will focus on the outcomes of experiential learning programmes for teacher education students who participate in experiential learning programmes in higher education as well as in international service learning, study abroad and student mobility activities in Europe that is perceived as highly important and valuable component of teacher education (Hauschildt, Vogtle & Gwosc, 2018).

The roundtable will present findings from a research study that examines the long-term outcomes of service learning (Beyond Learning for Earning) conducted in Canada, the outcomes of a co-curricular programme in and Malta (DegreePlus), and the results and the outcomes of a school, community-based research conducted in Serbia, Estonia and Switzerland (REP-Synergy: Towards Improvement of Research Capacities Essential for Teacher Education and Practices in Serbia and Estonia). These studies utilize a variety of methodological approaches including quantitative approaches to exploring school-based research, studies that focus on gaining a deeper understanding of students’ experience through qualitative interviews, and a mixed methods approach that includes a graduate survey and follow up interviews to examine the academic and employment-related outcomes of student involvement in service learning.

This EERA session presentation will demonstrate the value of community-university collaboration as well as the challenges to the successful partnership. Findings are expected to provide inspiration as well as an evidence base for program administrators who are interested in community collaboration, and guidance for practitioners in developing effective service-learning principles and strategies.

Upcoming ECERs

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The aim of the ‘European Conference on Educational Research’ is to create an inclusive platform for initiating, reporting, discussing and promoting high quality educational research ...
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