April 19, 2014  

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Community and Civic Engagement Receives Serving Learning Program Funding

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The University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement is the recipient of funding for the 2011-2012 academic year for the Mississippi Service Learning Program (MSSLP).  The goal is to institutionalize the use of service-learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at institutions of higher education in Mississippi.

Funding has been granted to the following institutions and departments: Southern Miss’ Office of Community Service Learning and its Gulf Park Campus’ Department of Geography; Tougaloo College’s Math and Computer Science Department, Rust College’s Department of Science and Technology; Millsaps College’s 1Campus 1Community; Jackson State University’s Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning; William Carey University’s Department of Education; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Department of Science; Mississippi Delta Community College; and the University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy.

Some of the proposed projects include GIS mapping of Long Beach and Pass Christian that focuses on developing an accurate address point system for 911 agencies as well as surveying and documenting high water marks due to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina; a smoking cessation train-the-trainer program on how to implement effective smoking cessation programs within health disparate communities; a community-based financial accounting course in which students majoring in accounting and math provide free and individualized accounting assistance to a local non-profit organization; the collaboration of university and high school students to develop a textiles wiki webpage; and building the science knowledge and skills of middle school students by engaging them in hands-on  archeological excavations.

Another component of the MSLLP program is the student leadership component. Participant college students will engage in leadership training and teamwork opportunities, reflection and community service. Six student groups will be awarded mini-grants to be used toward implementation of student-led service projects and activities that address the needs of the community through the use of STEM disciplines.

Funding is administered by Learn and Serve America (LSA) through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The purpose of the program is to expand participation in community service by supporting innovative service-learning programs carried out through institutions of higher education, acting as civic institutions to meet the human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs of neighboring communities.

To learn more about the Mississippi Service Learning Program, call 601.266.5189.