i.Think: It’s not just academic
One i.Think 101 class in Fall 2009 completed a problem-based service learning (PBSL) project with the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)/Schenectady County Multidisciplinary Team, which presented the class with this problem:
“As you know, Schenectady County has experienced an increase in the reporting of child abuse, a trend which has been experienced nationwide. However, national CAC leaders realized it was not enough to intervene in child abuse cases; something had to be done to focus on prevention. Community awareness programs are exceptionally important because education and awareness can mitigate abuse already in progress. Many of the abused children we see have been abused for two or three years before it was reported. Children often don’t understand that what is happening to them is wrong, and not their fault. What we are looking to do is provide more information to the community about Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs).”
The students created a public awareness campaign on Children’s Advocacy Centers.
In doing so, they became problem solvers, took ownership for creating solutions, applied skills and knowledge they had learned in class, made connections between theory and practice, connections between ideas, connections with other students, and connections with the community.