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Academic Service-Learning Model in MUST

The mission of Minghsin University of Science and Technology (MUST)

 

The mission of Minghsin University of Science and Technology is based on an educational philosophy of balanced development by which the ideal of a holistic education can be achieved. A holistic education embraces four balances.

These are: 1) the balance between knowledge in one’s professional field and a general understanding of humanity; 2) the balance between personal integrity and competency; 3) the balance between one’s role as an individual and as a contributing member of society; 4) the balance between body, mind and spirit. The goals are to nurture students expressing the essence of our mission both in their profession and outlook on life, and retain the wisdom absorbed from their college experiences.

 

 

Academic Service-Learning Model in MUST

 

An unprecedented pilot program of academic service-learning which embedded in the ethical courses with service-learning was organized. It includes two main types of courses. First, is ethical courses. They are obligatory. Every student of each college will take the course which embedded in service-learning. The students in the College of Engineering need to take Engineering Ethics. The students in College of Management need to take Business Ethics. The students in College of Service Industries need to take Holistic Education Passport.  The students in College of Humanities, Social and Nature Sciences need to take Professional Ethics. Second, is other courses which the faculty volunteers using service-learning pedagogy in their professional areas.

 

This program included two major elements: First, are service-learning elements. Every student had served more than 12 hours at diverse institutions. The students reflected through class meetings and journals writing. And the celebrations hold with faculty, students and communities. Every student finished the service-learning portfolio. That would be the best certificate for career development. Second, are research and practice elements. Many manuals and guidelines were developed, different activities for faculty and students were organized, and student outcomes were evaluated by assessment instruments.

This program consisted of three major phases. The first phase is Exploration.  New vision for all members in the campus was inspired, and devoting to practice the service-learning ideal was encouraged. The second phase is Activation. Diverse engagements included faculty, students, administrators and community partners were promoted. And the benchmark paradigms of colleges of technology in Taiwan were established. The third phase is Commitment. Sustainability and improved student success were developed.

MUST Service-Learning Center plays the most important role of this program. It’s  mission is “Building sustainable LEARNING environments”. The “L” means lifelong learning and sustainability. The “E” means empowerment through collaboration and reciprocity. The “A” means action to improve civic engagement and social justice. The “R” means reflection to achieve connection and commitment. The “N” means nature with respect, tolerance and diversity. Finally, the “ING” means always keeps going on.

The manuals and publications for academic service-learning included the academic service-learning guidelines DM, The academic service-learning student guidebook, the academic service-learning faculty guidebook, the annual academic service-learning outcomes guidebooks, the academic service-learning Teaching Resources CD-ROM and the textbook of Engineering Ethics. And the academic service-learning e-Learning Website provided many teaching resources of academic service-learning to faculty, students, administrators and community partners download update information.

The regular activities for faculty and students included academic service-learning faculty workshops, academic service-learning mentoring programs, symposiums of institutionalization of service-learning, academic service-learning capstone projects, academic service-learning scholarships and service-learning conference.

Besides, the academic service-learning outcomes every semester were evaluated by locally developed assessment instruments. The instrument included three dimensions: First, is intrapersonal development. Second, is interpersonal competence . Third, is humanitarianism and civic engagement.

Figure 1 presented the outcomes of academic service-learning in MUST from Feb, 2008 to June, 2009. The amount of courses embedding in service-learning added from eight to twenty-four. The amount of faculty engagements added from seven to twenty-one. The amount of students taking service-learning courses added from four hundreds and forty-night to one thousand and seventy-five. The amount of partnership organizations added from twenty-night to one hundred and twelve. Totally, the amount of courses are forty-night, the amount of faculty are thirty-night, the amount of students are twenty-two hundreds and twelve.

 

 

Figure 1

Academic Service-Learning Outcomes in MUST Feb, 2008~June, 2009

Time

Courses

Faculty

Students

Partnership organizations

Feb, 2008~

July, 2008

8

7

449

29

Aug, 2008

~Jan, 2009

17

11

688

79

Feb, 2009~

July, 2009

24

21

1075

112

Total

49

39

2212

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