Service Learning and Community Engagement Workshop (Hastings)
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Service Learning and Community Engagement Workshop (Hastings)

Service Learning and Community Engagement Workshop at Hastings College September 25 @ 11:40 am - 3:00 pm

When: Wednesday, September 25, 2019
11:40 AM
Where: Hastings College

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Service Learning and Community Engagement Workshop at Hastings College

September 25 @ 11:40 am - 3:00 pm

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Hosted by Hastings College in Hastings, NE

Sessions will be led by Sanaa Ahmed and Julie Dierberger of The University of Nebraska Omaha, and Jean Heriot of Hastings College.


Session Descriptions:

Retaining Students Through High Impact Practices: Service Learning and Community Engagement

High Impact Practices (HIPS) have been shown to aid in the retention rates and academic success of students, and they appear to be especially impactful for underrepresented students, including first-generation college attendees, students of color, and students from low-income families. This workshop covers the current research findings on retention and learning in service learning and community engagement and presents preliminary data from research at the University of Nebraska Omaha, on student retention in service-learning courses. We situate this research within higher education in general and within the strategic plans found on the campuses of Hastings College (small, private liberal arts college) and the University of Nebraska Omaha (large, public research university). Outcomes include increased knowledge of the state of research on retention with respect to service-learning and community engagement and the opportunity to link insights from UNO and Hastings College to each institutions’ own strategic initiatives. 

Critical Reflection in Service Learning: Lessons from the Field

Students often come into a service learning class without much knowledge of the requirements and the ways in which they will be asked to integrate their work in the community with their academic learning. While there are many ways to accomplish this aim, this workshop focuses on the process of critical reflection and presents tools for reflection professors can use in the classroom. In addition, we will address the recent literature on best practices in reflection so that we can move our students and ourselves away from simple lists of what they have worked on to deeper critical thinking.


11:40 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.  Retaining Students through High Impact Practices: Service Learning and Community Engagement

2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.  Critical Reflection in Service Learning: Lessons from the Field


RSVP details coming soon.



Sanaa Ahmed is currently a graduate student in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology MA/Ph.D. program at UNO. Sanaa earned her BA in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her applied experience includes data analysis and program evaluation. Sanaa’s research interests include motivation, leadership, and work-life balance.







Julie Dierberger is the Paul Sather Distinguished Director of the Service Learning Academy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She provided leadership in service-learning, community engagement, and student leadership development in public and private higher education institutions for the past 15 years. Julie developed the P-16 Initiative at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a unique program where college students and P-12 students meet learning outcomes and standards collaboratively while contributing to a community-identified need. Her research and scholarship focuses around professional development, student learning, and partnership development in experiential contexts across the P-16 educational spectrum. She has published research in the SAGE Sourcebook of Service Learning and Civic Engagement (2015), the Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Community Development and Outreach (2019), and the Journal of Higher Education. Julie received her M.A. in Educational Administration and B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Julie is active in her neighborhood association, enjoys gardening, travel, and having adventures in the Omaha community with her wife, Jesi.


Dr. Jean Heriot is the director of service learning and a professor in the religion and sociology departments at Hastings College. She came to HC in 2003 with the goal of developing service learning on campus. This fall, the HC program will implement a service learning certificate; over 25% of the faculty engage in service learning, and there are generally between 30 and 40 service-learning classes taught yearly. Dr. Heriot teaches service-learning classes, takes students on service learning trips nationally and internationally, and works with students on co-curricular service learning projects addressing hunger/food insecurity. She currently serves on the advisory committee for the Campus Compact of the Great Plains.