SNC’s Service Learning highlighted at international conference for experiential education

Not only are Outdoor Adventure Leadership students confident in the wilderness, they are compassionate in the community – due to the Service Learning component of Sierra Nevada College’s Interdisciplinary Studies department.

“Our students are doing innovative and great things through their service learning and senior portfolio projects,” said Assistant Professor Rosie Hackett.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Katie Zanto, left, and Rosie Hackett, right, are presenting at the International Conference for Experiential Education.

And others are taking notice of SNC’s exceptional program. Katie Zanto, chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies department, and Hackett, program director of Outdoor Adventure Leadership, have been invited to speak at the International Conference for Experiential Education, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, in Denver, Colo.

“It has been exciting for us to collaborate on this presentation and in the process, to explore how our unique interdisciplinary studies program is offering outdoor adventure leadership students the chance to bring their ODAL skills back into their communities,” said Zanto.

Zanto and Hackett’s presentation is entitled “Beyond the Field: Engaging Students in Interdisciplinary Studies, Service Learning and Outdoor Adventure Leadership.” They will give a 90-minute workshop on Thursday, Oct. 31.

The conference schedule reads, “This session will review the background and theory of the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Sierra Nevada College and will specifically address the experiential learning benefits of service learning for outdoor adventure leadership students. In this program, students are expected to move beyond the small group field experience to apply their leadership skills into the wider community. Students design individualized service learning projects (modeled after independent studies and internships) that draw on knowledge, methods, skills, research and practical applications from multiple disciplines to create learning experiences that cultivate student initiative and civic engagement.”

Many university outdoor education programs will concentrate on leadership and character building, but then are not able to have students practice those skills beyond the field. SNC’s Service Learning connects students to their communities.

“This collaborative project has made us feel even more confident and proud of our INTD programming,” Hackett said.