Q. Why is it important for students to be involved in volunteer and service learning projects?
A. Helping prepare students for life and work in today’s world is our ultimate goal as higher education professionals. Getting that real-world experience outside of the classroom is essential for preparing students to function successfully in the rapidly changing work environments they will experience upon leaving college.
By the Numbers
66.3% of students are involved in service for a total of 1.6 million hours annually
73.5% of students are involved in volunteering for a total of 1.87 million hours annually
In FY16 St. Cloud State offered 392 community-based learning courses
In FY16 11.2% of our St. Cloud State graduates entered public service careers
14% of students surveyed volunteered 40 hours or more of service in 2016
Q. How can they help shape a student for life in society after college?
A. By engaging in some form of experiential learning outside of the classroom a student has the opportunity to put into practice the theories, information and skills they have learned in the classroom at a somewhat more forgiving level than a full time hired professional may experience.
The student has the ability to try things, receive feedback, make corrections and learn from the experience – in order to better prepare them for a professional career.
Q. How many service events does the Department of Campus Involvement alone put on, on average per year?
A. The Department of Campus Involvement through the Civic Engagement program hosts more than a dozen one-time opportunities each year.
The fraternities and sororities have service and philanthropy as two of their guiding principles and they all engage in service on a regular basis and contribute more than 10,000 hours annually just among their chapters.
Q. How do these community engagement events better connect the University with the surrounding community?
A. Across the University and in communities near and far we are working together with students often at the center, to help improve how we serve, relate to, provide new information and products, and make significant contributions to people in communities from St. Cloud to Africa, to China and all over the globe. We are putting our education, skills and passion to work collectively to prepare our students to be successful in life and work in the 21st century and to make our communities thrive.
Q. How does this better that partnership for the future?
A. Whether we are connecting students, faculty and staff with independent business owners, non-profit organizations or industry partners – serving and working together on a common goal is an essential part of contributing to the success of your community.
St. Cloud State is an anchor institution for the St. Cloud area and as such, we strive to be stewards of place and positively contribute to and impact the health and overall well-being of our surrounding community.
As part of Our Husky Compact, community engagement is a critical component in this commitment we make to our students and their education. To combat the town-gown divide that can sometimes interfere with community and University relations – we should strive to embody the Paul Wellstone quote, “We all do better; when we all do better.”