In 2019-20, ASEC engaged 14 students, six Marywood University students and eight Chestnut Hill College students, in the Service Learning program. The students completed the required course to participate in the service learning trip to Ghana in the summer of 2020, however due to COVID-19, the trip was cancelled.
ASEC plans to resume the program once it is safe to do so.
Although data was not collected from Service Learning participants in 2020, more than 120 students, sisters, mentors and faculty members have participated in the program to date. Recent evaluations indicate the program is successful in fostering cross-cultural sharing and relationship-building between participants and those they serve, creating a positive impact on students through in-country cultural activities, increasing participants’ personal growth and increasing interest in international experiences among U.S. students.
The program faces some challenges as well, including effective implementation of daily spiritual reflections on the service learning trip, differing service expectations between students and site hosts and ensuring effective communication throughout the planning and implementation of the service trip.
Despite these challenges, evaluation outcomes show that the program provides a unique and beneficial opportunity for participants to engage in cross-cultural exchange and learning. ASEC plans to continue building infrastructure and partnerships to further enhance the Service Learning program and is eager to resume the program! You can learn more about the program at asec-sldi.org/service.