4th Credit Option Academic Service Learning: Civic Engagement
Outline Of Requirements — Spring 2013
What is the 4th Credit Option?
The 4th Credit Option awards students one additional credit for performing 30 hours of civic engagement activities and service that is linked to a course. Under this option students may earn up to three credits during their college career that may be used as electives toward graduation.
The 4th Credit Option for ACADEMIC SERVICE LEARNING allows students to integrate their academic studies with service to disadvantaged and underserved individuals or groups in the community with a particular academic course. Together with the facilitation of the professor of the course and with a supervisor at the site, students are challenged to find the connection between academic content of a course and experiential learning at a site.
The 4th Credit Option for ACADEMIC SERVICE LEARNING consists of a student's commitment to:
- 30 hours per semester, BEYOND CLASSROOM TIME;
- Setting and meeting learning goals agreed upon by the student, the agency and the professor;
- Attending an initial orientation;
- Participating in TWO discussion sessions and a mid-semester Reflection assignment;
- COMPLETION OF A FINAL PROJECT.
The goals of the program are to provide students the opportunity to:
- Integrate coursework and experiential learning through service, research, and volunteering
- Reflect, with peers, staff and faculty, on experiences and academic links discovered through their civic engagement
- Develop critical analytical skills while exploring underlying problems that face agencies and communities served.
What does Manhattanville College mean by community service?
Community service means: participation in activities designed to improve the quality of life for specific communities served, particularly marginalized and under-represented individuals and communities and the environment. Community service activities may include but are not limited to:
- Academic service-learning- service that is integrated with academic course content. It may involve direct or indirect service, and may include academic research.
- Direct service to citizens (e.g., serving food to the needy) and
- Indirect service through research/analysis (e.g., assessing community nutrition needs or managing a food bank).
- Co-curricular service-learning (not part of an academic course, but utilizing service-learning elements);
- Co-curricular student volunteer activities, as well as Work-Study community service and paid community service internships.
(Adapted from www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll)
How do I know if the 4th Credit Option is right for me?
Not every student should enroll in the 4th Credit Option. Just like every other course, the 4th Credit Option requires serious time commitment and dedication to the organization with whom you participate.
Through service, the 4th Credit Option also provides a unique opportunity to move from the theoretical and abstract to practical application. By working with a non-profit organization or social service agency, one can acquire skills that apply to any field and discover various career paths.
Meet with Wil Tyrrell and complete the service-learning contract no later than Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 with faculty sign off.
To successfully fulfill the 4th Credit Option requirements, complete the following by Monday, May 6, 2013:
- 30 hours of service at a site(s) researched by the student and approved by the Duchesne Center.
- Attendance at an Orientation and mid-term reflection session with other 4th Credit Option participants on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 and Wednesday, March 20, 2013, respectively. In addition, you may also schedule individual meetings as needed.
- Submission of weekly hours served and logged in through the Duchesne Center within 20 days of completing the service or project.
- A final project approved by the Duchesne Center Coordinator and faculty member.
- Attendance at an end of the semester reflection meeting on Monday, May 6, 2013.
Options for your final project can be found at
Through the Duchesne Center's website, students can research a variety of service sites and select one that fits their interests and the content of their course work. The Duchesne Center staff is available to assist students in the process. Students can also choose to participate in one of the ongoing service projects through the Duchesne.
Students who opt for an individualized placement are responsible for making the initial contact and securing a supervisor at the site. These placements must be pre-approved by Wil Tyrrell and the faculty member. All are responsible for arranging transportation to and from the service site.
Mid-Term Meeting and Reflection Session
At the mid-term meeting and reflection session students have the opportunity to review their progress, evaluate their service and share their experience with others. They also have the opportunity to meet individually with Duchesne staff to seek assistance in handling any issues that arise at the service site. During the meetings, students are encouraged to review and evaluate a plan for their final projects. A reminder will be sent to students the week before the meeting. Dates will be posted on the Manhattanville Master Calendar.
The final project is intended to give students the opportunity to integrate service with reciprocal learning, critical thinking, social analysis, and personal reflection to promote responsible, ethical citizenship. Students may choose one of the options outlined at http://www1.mville.edu/Duchesne/reflection.htm for a final project and present their experience at the final reflection meeting.
4th Credit Option Assessment: Service-Learning Civic Engagement Projects Outline of Requirements and Grade Distribution:
Students receive a letter grade for the 4th Credit Option. Grades are determined as follows:
- 50% Service
- 20% Midterm and Final Reflection Meetings
- 30% Final Project reviewed by both Duchesne Center and faculty member.
All final projects of must be submitted no later than May 6, 2013 at 5:00pm.
For more information contact Wil Tyrrell at 914.323.7178 or
*Please include "4th Credit Option" as the subject.
A FEW EXAMPLES OF PAST 4TH CREDIT OPTION PLACEMENTS
- United Nations (Orientation Required) Any Discipline: Represent Manhattanville at UN, Participate in discussions with UN Ambassadors, Work with various Non-Governmental Organizations
- Academic Service Learning Trips: Domestic and International 'co &/or' sponsored by Duchesne Center
- Westchester Department of Senior Programs and Services (Orientation Required)
- Westchester Office of the County Executive (Resume Required)
- Westchester Human Rights Commission (Resume Required)
- WesHab, Inc. - Leading not-for-profit provider of housing and social services for homeless and low income families in Westchester County
- MLK Institute for Non-Violence: An approach to positive social change and the resolution of social conflict.
- Castle Scholars: Human Rights Awareness Day, United Nations Visits.
- Manhattanville Mentoring Program: (Interview required)
- Dance/Theatre & Music: SPEAK Program, Daniel's Music Foundation
- Journalism/Communication/English: Newsletter Development, Website design
- Economics/Management/Sociology: Research Public Policy, Social Security, Medicare, Cost of living concerns
- Social Work, Anthropology/Sociology: Patient Advocacy
- Political Science/Pre Law: Shadow a Legislator or Dir. of African American Affairs
- Anthropology: Jansen Memorial Hospice (Orientation Required)
- Biology/Psychology/Social Work: Patient Care, 11th Hour Volunteer, Pet Therapist Volunteer
- Jacob Burns Film Center (Orientation Required)
- Art/Communication/Film Studies/Education/English: Develop Visual Literacy, Writing, and Storytelling Skills
- Coachman Mentoring Project: Duchesne Center (Orientation Required)
- Art: Creative Expressions Through Art
- Education: Tutoring/Reading Program Development
- Psychology/Social Work: Mentoring
- Psychology: Ladies Room, Boys-to-Men, Teenage Enrichment
- World Religions: Martin Luther King Institute for Non-Violence, Westchester Interfaith Clergy Network