Dickinson students gain valuable experience and contribute to the local community through community-based research, coursework, volunteerism and internships—experiences that help prepare them to become informed, engaged citizens that are poised to take leadership roles in the community and in the world.
The Service Learning/Community-Based Research Program creates meaningful connections between the classroom and the community. Dickinson professors develop courses that align with the needs of community organizations. Students gain real-world perspectives from their community-based work to apply to what they learn in the classroom, and in higher-level courses, they contribute their research skills to issues facing community organizations.
Students and communities benefit from global and local hands-on learning and research experiences through programs of the Community Studies Center. Programs are rich and diverse, ranging from the Comparative Black Liberation Mosaic, which focuses on the American South and South Africa, to the Jewish Immigration to Argentina Mini-Mosaic, to Venezuela and the United States: Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and Cooperative Movements.
Interdisciplinary course-based learning experiences through the American and Global Mosaic programs focus on the development of research skills through hands-on exploration. Students and faculty work together to explore complex issues that shape and are important to communities both locally and internationally. Students are expected to have an awareness and respect for the history and the culture of the people and the communities in which they work, to strive for professionalism in the field and to execute professional-quality research methodology.
The Offices of Religious Life and Community Service provides extensive service opportunities to the Dickinson community. These opportunities range from short-term to year-long experiences, as well as service trips to rural, urban and international locations. Students work with community partners to meet the needs of local, national and global communities. Opportunities include teaching, tutoring, mentoring, preparing and packing meals, cleaning and organizing, construction, language assistance and short-term immersion experiences.
Internships offer a closely monitored experience in a professional setting with definite learning objectives incorporating reflection on and integration of theories with practice. Students registered for an internship transcript notation will be expected to complete brief reflective assignments and tasks assigned at the internship site.
Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) provides capacity-building technical assistance to 14 community-based volunteer organizations concerned with water quality issues in south-central Pennsylvania. ALLARM provides student workers with opportunities to convert classroom experiences into community-based applications and to develop the essential skills required in grassroots and environmental fields. Student workers are involved in community meetings, training workshops, research, outreach-materials design and publication, youth-based environmental education and Carlisle-based environmental campaigns.
Montgomery Service Leaders is an intensive leadership development program that integrates academic work with local service placements. Accepted students commit to attending weekly meetings, leadership events, and work in their community placement.