Keywords

higher education, service-learning, educational administration, program theory

Abstract

Case study design, employing qualitative research methods, was used to document and examine a mandatory service-learning program at a new, comprehensive, public university. The study examined service-learning from multiple perspectives. Institutional theory provided a framework for examining the influence of the environment on the conceptualization, adoption, and implementation of service-learning. Program theory was used to identify and analyze the program's conceptual underpinnings, including goals and objectives, intended outcomes for students, and program processes. Knowledge of how a program is supposed to work is useful for developing assessment questions, evaluating institutional effectiveness, and improving program performance. The study included a review of the history of service-learning at the university. Data were collected during the fall 2005 semester and were analyzed using both process and variance modes. Data sources included the following: 35 documents, which spanned the years 1991-2005; interviews with seven faculty members and four academic administrators; and observations of three meetings of service-learning courses, a Government and Not-for-Profit Service Learning Job Fair, and five meetings where service-learning was a primary topic of discussion. Previous studies served as the basis for the following researcher-developed constructs used to code text across data sources: social/civic outcomes, personal outcomes, learning outcomes, and career outcomes. Findings suggest that the goals and outcomes associated with service-learning found in university documents clustered around social and civic involvement, while outcomes reported by faculty during interviews focused on students' personal development and learning related to course content. In general, university documents contained goals and objectives written in vague language, a finding consistent with previous studies.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2006

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Tubbs, Levester

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Educational Research, Technology and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0000978

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0000978

Language

English

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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