Service-Learning Projects

Service-learning projects typically fall into one of three categories:

Direct service: In which students interact directly with clients from the community partner organization, such as tutoring children, or working with the elderly.

Indirect service: In which service is not provided directly to individuals but the service benefits the community/organization, such as updating marketing materials, or renovating a community center.

Advocacy: In which students create an awareness of a community issue or cause, such as holding a fundraiser or educational event.

The following examples are a snapshot from the 70+ classes that embedded service-learning in the academic curriculum.


ENG 151- University Writing Seminar

Community Partners: McGlynn Learning Center, Ruth’s Place, Habitat for Humanity.

Students in ENG 151 taught by Dr. Amanda Caleb, participated in a variety of service learning experiences over the course of the semester. Each student spent time tutoring students at the McGlynn and Mineral Springs learning centers. The centers provide services for the children who live in subsidized housing units. Our students worked one-on-one as tutors for the children. Students in this course also partnered with Ruth’s Place “Walk for Hope” to advocate for homelessness. Ruth's Place is the only emergency shelter for homeless women in Luzerne County. The program provides emergency shelter and services for over 20 women on a daily basis. Students also provided service for Wyoming Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Health Care Strategic Management

HCM 403 - Health Care Strategic Management

Community Partners: Community Services for Sight; Lackawanna Blind Association

Students in HCM 403, taught by Dr. Ron Petrilla, analyzed the environment of the health care organization, including the market, competition, and industry infrastructure, and based on the analysis, developed a business plan, including a plan for implementation. They identified possible strategies and recommendations for responding to areas requiring strategic attention. The students also developed an actionable plan and identified specific goals and objectives relating to the organization's financial, technological, infrastructure, and market strategies.

Medical Imaging

MI 203 - Radiographic Procedures

Community Partners: MMR Jr Prep; Adventures in Learning

Children from two local daycares were invited to attend the 'Bone Academy' to learn all about the bones of the body. Taught by Medical Imaging student 'Bone Coaches', the children learned about the different bones in their bodies and what it is like to get an X-Ray in the Medical Imaging Labs on campus.

Instructed by Professor Lorie Zelna, the Bone Academy program aims to ease the fears of the children around medical imaging while developing the students' ability to work with the pediatric population.

Welcome to 'Bone Academy' on WBRE/WYOU

Occupational Therapy

OT 221 - Human Performance II

Community Partners: Area Agency on Aging Active Adult Centers

OT 221, Human Performance II (sections 1& 2), taught by Dr. Lori Charney, partnered with multiple Area Agency on Aging sites to engage in service-learning. Students developed programming to educate participants on a topic relevant to their occupational performance and client factors. The topics included: fall prevention/home safety, use of adaptive equipment for ADLs, upper body exercise program, making healthy choices in regards to nutrition, joint protection, energy conservation techniques, and fine motor exercises.

Physical Therapy

DPT 821 - Clinical Skills II

Community Partner: Masonic Village

Taught by Dr. Laurie Brogan and Dr. Kristen Karnish, DPT 821 Clinical Skills II students spent 9 weeks visiting their clients at Masonic Village to conduct a comprehensive Fall Prevention program. The program aims to provide each senior client with an individualized exercise program, along with educational programming on factors and exercise for wellness and fall risk.

Students began by completing an initial client assessment to establish goals and a plan of care. The students then provided seven sessions of individualized exercise programming including strength, balance, gait, and endurance activities. Students completed the program by performing discharge assessments and providing their clients with home exercise recommendations.


PHY 117- Introduction to Physics I

Community Partner: Habitat for Humanity; Rails to Trails

PHY 117, Introduction to Physics I, taught by Dr. Mike Orleski, partnered with both Habitat for Humanity and Rails to Trails. Students worked with Habitat for Humanity to help build a local home. Students also had the opportunity to help prepare the Back Mountain Trail for the spring and summer by clearing the path and ensuring its safety.

Social Work

SWK 366 - Social Work Methods

Community Partner: Dinner for Kids

Students in SWK 366, taught by Dr. Susan McDonald, partnered with the Dinner for Kids program on a project titled "Baskets of Hope and Bags of Joy.” The students gathered nonperishable items by placing boxes at various sites on campus to collect the donated goods. The items collected were placed in gift baskets and delivered to identified Dinners for Kids families. Students also worked with Dinner for Kids on the assessment of needs in the community.

Multi-Course Service-Learning

Multi-Course Service-Learning

Community Partners: Ruth’s Place; Domestic Violence Service Center

Two sections of Spanish taught by Joyce Avilla and Consuelo Ramos-Deyesso partnered with Ruth’s Place, a local homeless shelter for women, as well as, the Domestic Violence Service Center (DVSC). Students prepared a Hispanic themed dinner to the women and the staff at Ruth’s Place.

Both classes also partnered with a Principles of Marketing class taught by Kevin Feifer. Students in the Marketing class created pamphlets and flyers for eight distinct programs at DVSC. Students in both sections of the Spanish class then translate the pamphlets and flyers into Spanish. The Domestic Violence Service Center has a significant population of Spanish speaking clients.

International Service-Learning: Jamaica

International Service-Learning: Jamaica

OT 485- Special Topics - Occupational Therapy and International Service Learning

Community Partner: The Mustard Seed, Jamaica

Joseph Cipriani, Ed.D., OTR/L. Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy developed a course for the spring 2015 which involved a component of international service learning. As part of the course, titled OT 485: Special Topics - Occupational Therapy and International Service Learning, Jamaica, students not only learned about Jamaican culture and health care, but were immersed for one week working with children at two orphanages for severely disabled children near Kingston, Jamaica, sponsored by an organization called The Mustard Seed. The Mustard Seed has partnered with a worldwide organization known as Therapy Missions, and Dr. Cipriani was invited to accompany the Leadership Team from Therapy Missions in March as they developed a yearlong plan for services at the Mustard Seed. Dr. Cipriani, along with Dr. Jennifer Dessoye, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, and the eight students from the class, traveled to Jamaica in May and implemented this plan at two of the six orphanages sponsored on the island of Jamaica by the Mustard Seed.
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