The CALL Program challenges students to confront the big questions facing the world today by participating in and reflecting upon civic engagement activities. This program not only integrates academic study and analysis with field experience to give students intellectual insight into social issues while directly engaging them in social action, but it also pushes students to critically evaluate and apply course-based academic concepts and theories to address authentic needs outside the classroom. Because students will be engaged actively and collaboratively in the learning process, they will learn the value of team work. They will find meaning in what they are learning and will make connections between the classroom and their lives, building self-confidence and instilling a sense of responsibility to the broader community. In addition, they will gain a sense of personal empowerment and self-confidence by working and succeeding in culturally and economically diverse settings.
In collaboration with community partners and the Old Westbury faculty, the Community Action Learning and Leadership Program develops volunteer opportunities. Student placements are determined by linked course content and objectives, as well as students’ academic and career interests, schedules and other specifications. In addition to their normal coursework, students participate in their volunteer placements for a minimum of 50 hours during the semester.
Students are expected to reflect on their experiences in journals and evaluation papers involving research and analysis. They also consider the relationship of community-based learning and action to the College’s social justice mission, the value of a liberal arts education, ethical decision-making and career development. In addition to the experience itself, there will be pre-reflection and assessment components, including readings and assignments. The class will meet as a group at least once a week and students will be expected to participate in mandatory workshops and campus events.
Based upon the needs specified by the organization via a completed student request form, an application/survey completed by the student, and any supporting organization-related materials, CALL and FYE will match each student with an organization demonstrating goals and needs that parallel the curricular content covered in their four-credit general education class.
Depending on the agreement made with the organization, students may execute their volunteer responsibilities on campus, at the organization’s work-site, and/or at a location agreed upon by the organization and CALL.