University of Utah
Community Leadership in Action
Social Work 363R-60
Instructor: Bill Crim
Community Leadership In Action
This course is designed to expose students to a variety of challenges facing communities in the Salt Lake Valley, and to help students develop their own understanding of those challenges and their role in addressing them through community service and leadership. The course is built on the premise that individual citizens have both the opportunity and responsibility to be involved in the life of the community and in addressing community problems. Students will engage in both individual (I 5 hours) and group (I 5 hours) service activities which will be designed to help them gain an understanding of community problems and the skills for leading appropriate responses. Students will have the choice of working with a community agency, or working in their own neighborhood under the direction of the instructor (an experienced community organizer from a non-profit community agency). This is a 4 credit hour class which will be taught Autumn and Winter quarters.
1 . Students in the class provide a needed service ... : The service performed by students in this class will either be performed in conjunction with an established non-profit agency (Traveler's Aid Society, Community Services Council, TreeUtah, Neighborhood Housing Services, Neighborhood House Child Care); or it will be identified and performed in the neighborhood of a student. In the latter case, students will work with the course instructor to identify isolated and/or disadvantaged individuals within the neighborhood, and together with those individuals, identify a needed service.
2. The service experience relates to the subject matter of the course: This course is entitled "Community leadership in action" and is about identifying community needs and mobilizing oneself and others to respond to those needs. There really is no other way for students to develop this knowledge without a service component where students must provide active leadership for community problem-solving.
3. Activities in the class provide a method ... for students to think about what they learned ... and how this learning relates to the subject matter of the course: Students will participate in several forms of reflection during the course: 1) they will keep an individual journal of their service experience. In their journal they will be asked to respond to specific themes of the course and to identify their own progress toward self-defined learning goals; 2) During two class periods students will exchange their journals and engage in a process of verbal reflection on each other's experiences; 3) During the final class period of the class, students will engage in a full group discussion and evaluation of their learning experience; 4) There will be a specific reflection time at the end of each of 4 class service projects; and 5) Each student will submit a final paper which will ask them to use both the readings from the class and their service experiences to articulate a personal philosophy of community service leadership.
4. The course offers a method to assess the learning derived from the service. Credit is given for the learning and its relation to the course not for the service alone: A portion of the student's grade (20%) can be earned by the successful completion of a group project. Since this project must be designed and led by the students, only by applying the learning from the course will they be able to successfully complete this assignment. All other credit will be based on verbal and written assessments of students' learning through class discussion & reflection, individual journals, a mid-term essay exam and a final paper.
5. Service interactions in the community recognize the needs of service recipients, and offer an opportunity for recipients to be involved in the evaluation of the service. Students in this class have the choice of two kinds of service experience-agency-related and neighborhood based. Students working with an agency will only perform service which offers direct contact and interaction with service recipients and which encourages feedback from them. Students working in their own neighborhood will actually develop the service experience in consultation with the recipients-allowing for direct input into the kind of service performed and direct evaluation of that service through individual and group reflection.
6. The service opportunities are aimed at the development of the civic education of students... Service opportunities in this class will be approached from the perspective of the individual's responsibility and ability to address challenges in the community. A significant portion of the reading and discussion in this class will relate to the themes of citizenship and an individual's responsibility to the community.
7. Knowledge from the discipline informs the service experiences ... : Students will bring a wide range of disciplinary knowledge to their service/leadership experience. The two main texts for the course focus on how individuals can/do develop a lifelong commitment to community leadership and service. These texts are supplemented by readings in the areas of reflection/analysis, community organizing, leadership, individualism and community.
8. The class offers a way to learn from other class members as well as from the instructor: This will occur in at least three distinct ways: 1) student journals will be reviewed by peers twice during the quarter; 2) class format will be primarily based on group discussion and reflection on the service performed as well as the experiences which students bring to the class; 3) Students will participate in a group leadership project, allowing them to learn with and from each other during the process, and to share that learning with other groups at the end of the quarter.
This course is designed to expose students to a variety of challenges facing communities in the Salt Lake Valley, and to help students develop their own understanding of those challenges and their role in addressing them through community service and leadership. The course is built on the premise that individual citizens have both the opportunity and responsibility to be involved in the life of the community and in addressing community problems. This course is recognized as social science distribution credit for the University's Liberal Education requirements. It is also an approved Service-Learning course for the Service-Learning Scholars Program. As such, it is based on a model of experiential education in which understanding, knowledge and commitment are developed through a combination of study, action, analysis and reflection. In addition to the required texts for this course, students will spend three hours per week (30 hrs/quarter) in volunteer community service/problem solving. Learning from these experiences will become part of the "text" of the class. The format of the class will build on both written and experiential 'texts" through community presentations, group discussion, critical reflection and written analysis to accomplish the objectives listed below.
Course Objectives: The student who successfully completes this course will: 1 . understand the scope of social and environmental challenges facing individuals and communities in the Salt Lake Valley;
2. explore solutions to community problems through volunteer service and reflection, and through examination of and experience with how individuals and groups organize themselves to address problems;
3. understand the importance of individual and group action in solving community problems;
4. become more aware of his/her personal beliefs about the individual's relationship to the community by exploring a*d the connections between personal values and individual action, and society's values and social consequences;
5. understand the variety of approaches to solving community problems;
6. explore models of leadership and service to develop a conceptual framework for future community action.
Each student will be expected to attend and participate in the two class periods each week. Readings will be used as the basis for discussion during class time and will inform the "action" part of the class. In addition to readings and class discussion, each student will be responsible for completing both an individual and group action assignment. Some class time will be dedicated to planning, carrying out and evaluating the individual and group actions.
Each student will identify and respond to a community/neighborhood challenge. This may be accomplished through formal volunteer work with a non-profit community agency (list will be provided); and/or, under direct supervision of the instructor, this may be accomplished through informal volunteer work in the student's neighborhood or community. It is expected that students will spend approximately 1 5 hours during the quarter on this component of the class.
In addition, each student will participate as a leader in a group which will identify and respond to a community or neighborhood challenge. The goal of this component will be to work together with a group to organize a group response to a particular problem. This may be accomplished by organizing a group service project in conjunction with a non-profit community agency. Or, under direct supervision of the instructor, this may be accomplished by organizing a group service project in conjunction with a particular neighborhood and it's residents. It is expected that approximately 15 hours will be spent on this component of the class.
Each student will be graded in the following manner:
Class participation: Measured by presence and contribution to class discussions, including demonstrated 20%
ability to synthesize learning from experience, reading, presentations, and class discussions. Service/Action Journal: Each student will keep a journal of their individual and group service/action 20%
experiences, including a log of hours and response to individual learning goals. Group Process and project: Measured by involvement in and completion of group service/action project. 20%
Mid-term Essay Exam 20% Final Paper 20%
Colby, Anne & Damon, William (1 992). Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment. New York: MacMillan, Inc.
Coles, Robert (I 993). The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism. Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Other readings: 1 . Bellah, Robert, et. al., 'Getting Involved,' and 'Citizenship" from Habits of the Heart, New York: Harper Row (I 985).
2. Berry, Wendell, "The Futility of Global Thinking.'
3. Boyte, Harry C. and Kari, Nancy N. 'The Meanings of Citizenship," from Building America: The Democratic Promise of Public Work, Temple University Press, 1996.
4. Firere, Paolo & Horton, Miles 'On Charismatic Leaders,' from We Make the Road by Walking, Philadelphia: Temple University Press (1990).
5. Horton, Myles, 'Charisma" from The Long Haul, New York: Doubleday Books (1990).
6. Kahn, Si, 'Leaders', from Organizing, New York: McGrawHill (1982).
7. McKnight, John 'Why Servanthood is Bad,"
8. McKnight, John, 'On Community," from The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits, New York: Basic Books (1995).
9. Peck, Scott, 'Individuals . . .' and 'The True Meaning of Community," from The Different Drum, New York: Simon & Shuster (1987).
10. 'Think About It: Taking Time Out for Reflection,' from Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL) Newsletter
11. 'Journals: Diaries for Growth," and 'Tools for journals and Debriefing,' from Combining Service and Learning
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 15:01:44 MST From: Renee Buchanan <RBUCHAN@ssb2.saff.utah.edu>