All Bucknell Grand Challenges Scholars will be required to complete a service-learning experience to ensure they understand the opportunities to be an engaged citizen, to better understand the contextual challenges associated with implementing technical solutions, and to gain multi-cultural awareness. A common contextual challenge is that American engineering students do not understand the micro-cultural differences and economic challenges that exist within communities where Grand Challenge solutions could be most useful. As such, service-learning projects should ideally involve meaningful interaction with people with different socioeconomic backgrounds than the Scholar's. Also, service-learning projects should provide Scholars with knowledge and experiences relevant to the Grand Challenge(s) of interest to them and that will better enable them to achieve their academic and career goals.
Acceptable service-learning activities are listed below:
- Participating in an approved week-long service trip, such as the Bucknell Brigade's trip to Nicaragua, the BACES trip to the Dominican Republic, the Katrina Recovery Team's trip to New Orleans, or one of alternative breaks trips associated with Habitat for Humanity, the Appalachia Service Project, or other organizations that are at least one week-long and focused on service.
- Completing one GCSP Committee-approved service-learning course (use the Course Information search tool within MyBucknell/Banner Web to search for Service-Learning Courses being offered each term, or contact the Office of Civic Engagement).
- Enroll in a 3-week GCSP summer course with a focus on social entrepreneurship and contains a service-learning component.
- Completing a senior design project or other project that involves significant service-learning and is approved in advanced by the GCSP Committee.
- Another significant (at least total of 30 hours) service-learning experience approved in advance by the GCSP Committee. For example, completing a project for one of the local non-profit organizations that partner with Bucknell's Office of Civic Engagement.
The GCSP Committee views the GCSP Service-Learning requirement as a valuable tool for enhancing student learning, but does understand that it places substantial expectations on participants. Therefore, the Committee strives to make the process as simple as possible, ensuring that each Scholar's experiences meet the goals of the requirement, without being cumbersome to the student. As such, the process consists of three steps: getting approval from the GCSP Director before beginning the service-learning activity (based on consultation with participating programs or organizations as needed), completing the service-learning project, course, or program, and submitting an acceptable reflection on the experience.
- Pre-Approval. Scholars wishing to satisfy their service-learning requirements through approved activity 1 (service trip) or 2 (service-learning course) need only send an email to the GCSP Director and the Scholars Faculty-Staff Committee describing the service-learning activity that will be completed and how it will achieve the goals of the service-learning requirement and is related to their Grand Challenge(s) of interest. Scholars interested in pursuing an appropriate senior design project should first discuss their intention to do this with member of their Faculty-Staff Committee and/or the GCSP Director. Scholars intending to pursue an independent service-learning project should identify a faculty or staff member willing to oversee the work and complete the Agreement form that can be accessed here.
- Activity Completion. Scholars should complete the service-learning activity in accordance with any guidance received from their project supervisor, member of the GCSP Steering Committee, and/or staff member of the Office of Civic Engagement. Any concerns about health and safety should immediately be reported to the project supervisor.
- Post-Completion Reflection. Scholars should submit to the GCSP Director (and their independent project supervisor, if applicable) a ~500 word reflection that describes the experience, discusses whether the anticipated service and learning objectives were met, and identifies suggestions (if any) for how to make similar experiences better for future Grand Challenge Scholars.