The effects of service-learning on millennial students

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dc.contributor.advisor Wessel, Roger D. Smith, Kathy L. 2011-06-27T19:37:01Z 2011-06-28T05:30:06Z 2010-12-18 2010-12-18
dc.description.abstract When service-learning began to gain prominence as a legitimate academic pedagogy in the early 1990's, it was believed that through intensive service experiences, students developed a greater understanding of themselves, felt empowered to make a difference in their community, made a connection to course material, and made a commitment to continue serving their communities post-graduation. Research conducted in the mid to late 1990's confirmed that students completing service-learning courses were responding positively in all these stated areas (Eyler, Giles, & Braxton, 1997; Osborne, Hammerich, & Hensley, 1998). However, a new generation of students began entering higher education institutions in the fall of 2000. Labeled the Millennial generation and because these students were different from any other previous generation (Howe & Strauss, 2000), it was appropriate to ask whether these students would respond to service-learning experiences in the same way. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the assumptions made about the effects of service-learning were accurate for the contemporary Millennial student, as defined by Howe and Strauss (2000), and to more accurately know whether those service-learning experiences were meeting students' expectations. This research assessed the way Millennial students at Ball State university were affected by service-learning in three primary ways: Expanding Academic Learning, Personal Growth and Development, and Civic and Social Awareness. A sample of 256 undergraduates enrolled in service-learning courses at Ball State University at the beginning of the fall 2009 semester were given a service-learning pre-assessment test that consisted of 18 questions in three different subcategories: Expanding Academic Learning, Personal Growth and Development, and Civic and Social Awareness. The pre-assessment was designed to evaluate what students expected to gain from their service-learning experience. A post-assessment was given at the end of the fall 2009 semester and asked students to report on what they actually received from the service-learning experience. Overall, Ball State Millennial students reacted in very similar ways to their service-learning experience as the generation before them. Ball State Millennial students had high expectations that, as a result of their service-learning experiences, their classroom studies would be more meaningful, their higher level thinking skills would be enhanced, and their service-learning experiences would be an important part of their education. There was not a statistically significant difference between the pre-assessment (expectations of service-learning) and the post-assessment (service-learning experiences). Students had high expectations for what they would achieve from their service-learning experience and overall their expectations were met. When looking at the individual subcategories, there were statistically significant differences between the pre- and post- assessment for Expanding Academic Learning, Personal Growth and Development, and Civic and Social Awareness, but not for Personal Growth and Development. This research also demonstrated that service-learning affects students in similar ways regardless of the age of the students, class standing, grade point average and years of previous service. There was, however, a statistically significant difference based on service-learning course taken.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Educational Studies
dc.subject.lcsh Service learning -- Indiana -- Muncie.
dc.subject.lcsh Generation Y -- Indiana -- Muncie -- Attitudes.
dc.subject.other Ball State University -- Students -- Attitudes.
dc.title The effects of service-learning on millennial students en_US Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US 2011-06-28

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3210]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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