My second year in graduate school here at Saint Rose I was fortunate enough to get a graduate assistantship (GA) with the campus community service office. Before that I had done some random volunteering here and there, but with my GA I suddenly became fully immersed in volunteering and the service learning experience. I can honestly say that it changed my life and I wish I had stumbled upon service learning earlier. One of the best and most unique aspects about The College of Saint Rose is its commitment to service. Students here learn how they can commit themselves to life outside the classroom and make large impact on their communities (a student/blogger who has experienced this himself- Colin).
While doing my GA I met Fran Hollon, who is the coordinator of Project SLATE. He answered some questions of mine about the program:
What is Project Slate?
“Project SLATE (Service Learning and Teacher Education) is a grant funded collaborative partnership between The College of Saint Rose , The Sage Colleges , Schenectady County Community College, Union Graduate College and the Capital Region BOCES. The primary goal of the program is to transform the teacher preparation programs of these institutions through the integration of service learning into to pre- service educators field experiences and undergraduate and graduate education courses being taught by college faculty. These future teachers will learn how to use service learning in their future classrooms to engage P-12 students in hands on learning that connects what they have learned in the classroom to applying that knowledge to resolve real community needs and issues through service learning projects and programs.”
How did it get started?
“Representatives from The SLATE Partners collaborated to write a grant that would transform Capital Region Teacher preparation programs through the integration and institutionalization of service learning . The grant was funded through a higher education Learn and Serve America grant to The College of Saint Rose from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Our program is now in its second year of operation.”
What is your involvement?
“I am the Project SLATE coordinator and SLATE Institute Director . I coordinate grant implementation, evaluation and dissemination activities, service learning professional development opportunities, seek grant resources to support and continue our efforts and maintain our service learning resource website.”
What does Project Slate do for educators?
“Project SLATE provides service learning professional development opportunities, curriculum resources, sharing and dissemination of course syllabi, project ideas and lesson plans through our web site, mini grants, and networking opportunities for area college faculty supervisors, cooperating classroom teachers and pre-service educators.”
How can people become involved?
“Use our website www.projectslate.org to obtain and share service learning syllabi, lesson plans, project activities, education field experiences and other resources. Contact us if they need assistance with finding service learning resources that will strengthen their classroom or student teaching experiences. Essentially learn about the service learning and practice it!”