Westminster College seeks to develop individuals who choose to lead “lives of success, significance and service.”
The future leaders in our communities, and indeed in the wider world, must be prepared to view that world from many perspectives. The Emerson Center works diligently to create learning experiences that promote multi-perspective analysis of community challenges. We also know that preparing exceptional leaders through community-based learning can be an empty experience if our students aren't able to identify and act upon their personal core values and develop a moral compass.
The Community Engagement and Service-Learning Program provides a powerful way to make classroom and out-of-classroom learning applicable to the real world. An education class, for example, comes alive when the students themselves serve as tutors for disadvantaged youth and begin to see life from a different perspective. English majors learn about autobiographical writing through their collaboration with a senior citizen in the writing of the senior's autobiography that will be shared with their family. Pre-med students begin understanding the complexities of health care in the developing world by conducting health needs assessments in East Africa.
"Connecting the dots" is what service-learning and community-based learning is all about -- this is what the Emerson Center hopes to accomplish by creating hands-on experiences through which students will make a positive difference in their community while learning about themselves, their academic disciplines, and the world they live in.