COVID-19 Pandemic Information: In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the university has transitioned all courses to an online format. To facilitate the transition of service-learning courses to an online format, we have developed virtual community service opportunities in collaboration with our community partners. All face-to-face community service activities have been suspended with the exception of services provided to local and regional Food Banks.
“A Franciscan Education seeks to form persons and build a better world. It emphasizes relationship building, and community through a culture of social responsibility” (Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities). The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University [formerly, Our Lady of the Lake College] has a tradition of service and a strong commitment to community-engaged learning in healthcare education that promotes student success.
Service-Learning promotes our mission of service, the ideals of a Franciscan education, student formation, and success. Service-Learning is defined as a “course-based, credit bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle and Hatcher, 1995).
The Carnegie Foundation has announced that Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU) is one of the 119 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement.
During the Spring 2020 semester, in the mist of the COVID-19 Pandemic, students and community partners joined efforts to serve the most vulnerable in the community through the development of virtual community service projects, including virtual tutoring for students at Cristo Rey Franciscan High.
Faculty offered 25 undergraduate and graduate level service-learning courses in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Health Professions and Nursing during the 2019-2020 academic year. FranU Faculty collaborate with community partners as co-educators to develop service-learning pedagogy. In addition, faculty share their experiences through Service-Learning Presentations and Scholarship.
Our community partners are important co-educators working collaboratively with faculty, students and the office of service-learning to serve those most in need in the community. In addition, our community partners are essential for developing student servant leaders, with an enhanced awareness of their civic responsibility to advocate for the marginalized in the community. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the FranU-Community Partner relationships are essential to the resiliency of the communities we serve.
FranU Service-Learning Program Community Advocates: Sue Catchings, former Director, Health Centers in Schools; Terrie Sterling, former, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, OLOLRMC, and Co-Chair, Louisiana Resilient Commission.
The Office of Service-Learning is located at 7525 Picardy Ave. on the second floor of the Student Services building. Services provided by the Service-Learning office include support for campus-community partners, community partner and faculty development workshops, S-L teaching resources, student resources, S-L scholarship and resources for external S-L grant writing.