Commonalities in Global Service-Learning Activities on Alumni Academic Development

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Ikendi, Samuel
Retallick, Michael S.
Nonnecke, Gail R
Kugonza, Donald R
Miller, Gregory S
Cooper, Theressa N.
Lubaale, Grace
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Owusu, Francis
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Community and Regional Planning

Community and regional planning is a professional field of study aimed at assessing the ever-changing socioeconomic and physical environments of our communities and planning for their future. Planners evaluate and seize opportunities to understand and solve problems. Most planners work at the local level, but they are concerned with issues that affect the world: the preservation and enhancement of the quality of life in a community, the protection of the environment, the promotion of equitable economic opportunity; and the management of growth and change of all kinds.

The Department of Community and Regional Planning was established in 1978 when it was split from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Community Planning.

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Students need to develop cross-cultural awareness and understanding, which has led higher educational institutions (HEI) to create high-impact global programs including service-learning to enhance their academic learning. Service-learning has been part of the history of HEIs in the U.S. more than in any other region of the world (Bringle & Hatcher, 2011; Ma et al., 2019). In the U.S., service-learning and its relevance to HEIs in advancing knowledge to students were described by Eyler and Giles (1999). This scholarly book resulted from the urgency to respond to the growing number of practitioners whose outcome was not founded. The required servicelearning component as part of students’ courses and graduation has grown over time in the U.S. (Jones et al., 2008; Moely & Ilustre, 2011). Service-learning is relevant at the peak age of 18-23 years (Wilsey, 2013) when students are undergoing formative development, often enrolled in HEIs which are responsible for assisting in their development of cross-cultural competencies. Due to efforts to increase global competencies, HEIs have gone further to internationalize their high-impact programs. As a U.S. pedagogy, international service-learning was conceptualized as an interconnection between service-learning, study abroad, and international education (Bringle & Hatcher, 2011). Service-learning brings a study abroad program and international education into an experiential learning model for students to learn in the international community. In this study, the service-learning program was held in Uganda and included three partner organizations. The partnership is among Makerere University (MAK), Iowa State University (ISU), and non-government organizations including Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (2004-2014) and Iowa State University Uganda Program (ISU-UP) in 2014 to date (Butler & Acker., 2015; Ikendi & Retallick, 2023a; 2023b). ISU-UP implements development programs of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) based in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at ISU. Service-learning is an academic program of the college led by an Associate Director of the CSRL program who is also an ISU faculty member. The servicelearning program was conceptualized in 2005 out of the participatory needs assessment between the stakeholders of MAK and ISU Colleges of Agriculture and national and local entities and communities in Uganda (Nonnecke et al., 2015).
This presentation is published as Ikendi, S., Retallick, M. S., Nonnecke, G. R., Kugonza, D. R, Miller, G. S, Owusu, F., Cooper, T. N., Lubaale, G., Commonalities in Global Service-Learning Activities on Alumni Academic Development. Presented at Western Region Research Conference American Association for Agricultural Education. Sept 2023. Logan, UT. Posted with permission.