“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.
FranU students work collaboratively with community partners in service-learning courses to address social problems and issues in the community such as food insecurity, homelessness, social isolation, mental illness prevention in the elderly, and educational enrichment for youth in economically depressed areas with limited resources. Additionally, nursing faculty and students administered COVID-19 vaccines and provided other medical services to residents in medically underserved communities.
Faculty offered 25 undergraduate and graduate level service-learning courses in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Health Professions and Nursing during the 2020-2021 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.