Dixie State breaks service-learning record; offers service opportunities for community members as well

Stock photo used for illustrative purposes only | Photo by Photo_Concepts/Cultura/Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Ranging from students and faculty assisting local teachers to collaborating with nonprofit organizations around the world, Dixie State University recently reported the largest amount of service-learning hours in its history.

At the close of the 2017-18 academic year, Dixie State students and faculty contributed more than 108,000 hours of service-learning.

Service-learning is an active approach to education that drives students to utilize skills and knowledge gained in their coursework to satisfy real community needs.

Dixie State’s strategic plan, “Dixie 2020: Status to Stature,” has further emphasized the importance of service-learning and outlines a plan to increase student involvement in high-impact, enhanced or experiential learning opportunities. So far, the amount of service-learning hours at DSU has more than doubled in the past eight years.

“This is our best year yet, and we expect the service hours to keep climbing,” said David Zielke, DSU faculty service-learning coordinator. “More people are discovering what we are doing in the community and are realizing what we can do to serve more in the future. Service-learning is an important part of what we’re doing to better the university and community.”

More than 1,300 Trailblazers participated in service-learning through their courses within the last year and worked with a number of groups in the community as well as in several countries throughout the world.

However, these efforts aren’t limited to university students and faculty members. DSU volunteers also dedicated time to service and community engagement through Dixie Serves, DSU’s global and community engagement program.

“Community members and new residents want to get more involved in the community and on campus but don’t always know where to go,” said Karyn Wright, community engagement specialist. “Dixie Serves facilitates service as a bridge of collaboration between the community and university.”

Dixie State University recently held an awards banquet to honor campus and community members who dedicated themselves to service-learning. Zielke said that in just a few years, the banquet has grown from only a dozen people to nearly 200.

To sign up for campus and community service opportunities, go to the Dixie Serves website.

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