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Service Learning

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Service-learning is an experiential education approach that links academic learning with meaningful community service activities, personal growth, and social awareness and responsibility. Here's a glimpse of service learning courses at Cornell relating to Latina/o Studies, Immigration, Education and Migrant/Farmworkers.

Migrant Workers in the Americas - LSP 2062 (also HIST 2062, LASP 2062, ILRLR 3062). This is an introductory course on the history and contemporary reality of migrant labor. Weekly sessions will combine short lectures and discussions of assigned readings. The emphasis is on migrant laborers in the Americas - primarily Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States - with a primary (but not exclusive) focus on agricultural workers in central upstate New York. The course is a service learning course: that is, it combines weekly seminar sessions with weekly service work, intellectual labor with experiential labor, theory and pracitice. The basic premise for service learning in general, and most certainly this course, is that all of us learn better, and contribute more, if we engage in both reflection and action and understand how reflection and action constantly impact each other. Instructor: Raymond Craib. 4.00 credits.

Immigrant Ithaca – LSP 2252 (also HIST 2252, AMST 2252). This engaged learning course allows students to combine community service with academic learning. Students will learn about the post-1965 immigration to the United States, and especially to Ithaca and upstate New York. We will examine the reasons for migration, the policies that facilitated entry, and the particular needs of immigrant populations in the local setting. Because this course is a seminar there is a strong emphasis on the discussion of the weekly readings, and class participation weighs heavily in the assessment of the final grade. A key component of this course is the community service project. In consultation with the professor, students will identify and work on individual service projects in the local community and must agree to commit a minimum of 3-4 hours per week to their project. In the past, students have worked with a number of local organizations including the Immigrant Services Program at Catholic Charities; the Tompkins County Living Wage Coalition & Workers’ Rights Center; the BOCES ESL Program; the Translator Program; and the Cornell Friends of the Farmworkers. Permission of instructor required. Instructor:  Maria Cristina Garcia. 4.00 credits.

Cultures and Communities – LSP 2300/4300. Conceived as a service-learning course, the centerpiece here is targeted, engaged research and arts work with Latino/a culture-related organizations in Tompkins County like Cultura!,  No más lágrimas, and the Latino Civic Association.  The core idea is that students will learn while participating in meaningful activities that will enhance arts and culture partnerships.  Faculty will provide guidelines and resources for students to work within existing projects or to develop their own ideas; community partners will provide networks and planning assistance.  All students will be asked to develop  a comprehensive learning portfolio on their semester’s work.  Instructor: Debra Castillo. Variable 1-3 credit hours depending on level of commitment.

"Because Ithaca is home to a large population of refugees and immigrants, it offers students a wonderful opportunity to examine in a very personal way the challenges that immigrants and refugees face when accommodating to a new society," says Garcia.
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