Pitzer College Students Play a Contributing Role with 100,000 Annual Average Service Learning Hours
Claremont, Calif. (June 1, 2007) – Pitzer College, a member of Campus Compact, has contributed to the clocking of 277 million hours in campus-organized service programs by 1,000+ institutions nation-wide during the 2005-06 academic year.
Social responsibility is one of the Pitzer’s core values, and since 1995 it has been the only liberal arts college ranked in the top 100 to require a social responsibility component prior to graduation. Pitzer College students annually complete 100,000 service hours in various internships and projects in the community or within non-profit organizations. An addition 10,000 hours are completed by Pitzer and non-Pitzer students who participate in the College’s Study Abroad program.
Since its founding, Pitzer College has been committed to teaching students to be responsible citizens in their communities, both local and global, by applying the study of liberal arts to concrete actions that benefit others. With the generous support of two major contributors, the W.M. Keck and James Irvine Foundations, Pitzer established the Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI) in 1999 to further this commitment through a variety of programs integrating work in the field with work in the class.
The College’s CCCSI supports research and education that contributes to the understanding of critical community issues and enhances the resources of community organizations. CCCSI works with community partnerships, not to dispense expert solutions to pre-defined needs, but to identify and engage resources—both human and material—within the community.
Courses at Pitzer College that are involved with the Center are many and include: Media Arts for Social Justice; Critical Community Studies; Teaching in Prisons; Autobiography: Service Learning; Qualitative Research Methods; Child Development; Social Change Practicum; and Internships in Psychology. Non-class involvement includes Camps Afflerbaugh-Paige, a juvenile detention camp for incarcerated young men ages fifteen to nineteen; HERO, an after-school program; the Pomona-Economic Opportunity Center for Day Laborers; Prototypes, a Drug and Alcohol Center for Women; and the California Youth Authority.
“Service-learning is continuing to grow as a valued pedagogy, and our member institutions are pioneers in the field,” notes Campus Compact president Maureen F. Curley. “Support for service-learning and other engagement activities at the institutional level is at an all-time high, and students are eagerly participating.”