Service-Learning Program

UCBC understands community engagement as an integral part of student's higher education. The Service-Learning Program at UCBC is an important part of this commitment. Service-learning integrates academic rigor with local realities in order to connect course material to community need.

The Service-Learning Program is organized around the following goals:

- Encourage students to examine how their capabilities intersect with community needs.
- Engage students in dialogue with their communities to build civic responsibility among graduates.
- Connect academic inquiry and professional skills with local realities.
- Offer a forum for reflection on and expanding awareness of community needs.

The Office of Service-Learning coordinates the Service-Learning Program at UCBC, an important component of the University's commitment to community engagement.

Project Based Engagement

UCBC's Service-Learning Program is project-based, working with professors to make links from curriculum to service opportunities in the local community. Students conduct initial research to assess the need for and potential impact of a given project. This exploratory stage draws on dialogue with the community to design service-learning projects. Projects are integrated into the curriculum through selected classes and correspond with course objectives and learning material. Because service-learning is facilitated through classroom instruction, students are encouraged to use academic inquiry to deepen reflection and engagement with local realities.

Courses currently incorporating service-learning models in their instruction include:

Physics - Applied Science students set up hydroelectricity power for the University and surrounding community. By measuring water pressure to create a dam, students offer low-cost sustainable energy in a context that otherwise lacks a power grid.

Christian Social Ethics - After identifying a topic for a final course paper, theology students organize focus group discussions to integrate community voice into their work on contemporary social issues including war, extraction and reconciliation - and later conduct seminars with faith communities to discuss reflections.

Education of the Citizen - Students dialogue with the community on the elements of the democratic process, encouraging political agency among traditionally marginalized populations. Student presentations to the community emphasize land ownership and property rights.

African Theology - Theology students organize seminars with local church leaders to train on methods of textual interpretation and theological engagement given the conflict that tore the social fabric of North Kivu.

Kujitolea Student Internship in Service-Learning

Each semester, the Kujitolea Internship accepts a small group of four students interested in expanding their community involvement. This is a leadership development opportunity for students who display achievement in service based initiatives and strong academic reflection. Interns work as a team alongside the Service-Learning Coordinator to develop community partnerships, facilitate project reflection and analysis and monitor progress of program activities. Students work approximately five hours per week and are awarded a scholarship at the end of their semester work.