Most students today are familiar with some form of Service Learning. Students as young as third grade are encouraged to volunteer in their community for “service learning.” These activities typically involve volunteering at a community nonprofit for a few hours. While volunteering is an important activity, the key to a robust Experiential Learning activity is the reflection that occurs alongside. Boise State’s Service Learning Program supports over 45 academic departments and programs. In addition to this support, SPS Professors have taken the initiative to develop specific opportunities.
Students partnered with the City of Boise for an invasive species removal, treatment and planting project at Veterans Park. The activity occurred over four class periods during the Fall semester. Students worked with Parks and Recreation Director, Doug Holloway. After the work is completed, students prepare both a panel and poster presentation addressing the impact and importance of invasive species removal to city parks and lands.
Comparative State Politics students work in teams to provide policy-related research and advocacy to Idaho policymakers or an advocacy organization. Students pick the policy and provide important research on an issue or policy that will help the organization craft quality policy for the community. The activity is designed to help students develop skills necessary to engage in legislative advocacy. The work also gives students hands-on experience applying what they learn in the classroom to an issue in the community, while gaining valuable skills and a deeper understanding of state politics.