What exactly is service learning? In broad terms, it is the use of community service as a means of teaching by allowing students to learn through experience that benefits the community.
What does service learning look like at the Mount. Rather than telling you, allow us to show you:
Making taxes less taxing
What better way to learn about tax preparation than by actually preparing taxes?
As part of a collaboration with the AARP TaxAide Foundation, Mid-Hudson CASH Coalition, and the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, Mount Accounting students have the opportunity to learn how to prepare taxes with AARP certified instructors. After 40 hours of rigorous training and passing the IRS certification exam, students are then eligible to volunteer as tax preparers for local families in need. It creates invaluable opportunities for real world experience in the field while also giving back in such a meaningful way.
Learn more about the Tax Aide program.
Inspiring lifelong reading
At 8 am on a Saturday morning, you'd probably expect to find most college students sleeping in. However, many Mount students and faculty can actually be found spending their early mornings volunteering at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.
The Mount community is an integral part of the Armory's Saturday Morning Enrichment program, assisting in running a variety of programming for local children and families. While the Mount is particularly involved in the literacy programming, with hundreds of Education students gaining valuable experience for their own future classrooms, the entire college community also contributes to technology and athletics activities as well.
Read our feature on the Armory, Championing Literacy.
Caring for fuzzy friends
Healthcare doesn't have to be scary.
For the more than 40% of Mount students entering a healthcare-related field, service is an everyday part of their work. Still, our students like to come up with creative ways to give back, one of which was the recent Fuzzy Friends Clinic series. Through this initiative, Mount Nursing students performed "health examinations" on stuffed animals. The Nursing students walked children through the steps they were taking, both as a way to express the basics of health education as well as demystefy healthcare providers and medical care to children who may otherwise be afraid of them.
Learn more about the Fuzzy Friends clinic initiative.
Words Come to Life
Mount English students were able to put words into action through two unique class initiatives. In a poetry class with Peter Witkowksy, associate professor of English and chair of the Division of Arts and Letters, Mount students had the opportunity to work with teens at Newburgh's Center for Hope to write their own inspirational poems. That same semester, "The Art of the Essay" class made their food writing research tangible by volunteering at the Newburgh Urban Farm & Food Initiative, which runs the community garden in Downing Park.
Most people associate studying Business as a way to profit oneself, but the Mount's curriculum takes a different approach: How can you use your business skills to help others?
As part of the college's Medici Scholars program, sponsored by Walden Savings Bank, select Mount Business students have the opportunity to learn what working with nonprofits entails. The student teams are challenged to use the strategies they've learned in the classroom to aid local organizations like the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley or the Newburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Learn more about the Medici Scholars program.
Family Science Night
Every year, dozens of local families enjoy a fun night of exploration in science thanks to the wildly popular Family Science Night hosted by the Division of Natural Sciences. Children have fun making slime and learning about the powers of metals while also being exposed to the possibilities in (and fun of!) a STEM career.
Read more about Family Science Night.
Let's face it, it can be difficult to get students to enjoy math. However, students and professors in the Mount's math division recently figure out a solution: creating math trails at local schools. By combining caring for the environment and math, the students were more likely to be invested in the project. For Mount math majors, our students were able to test their teaching skills while also making a lasting impact at local schools.
Learn more about the college's Math Trails initiative.