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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Service-Learning Center featured in Internet guide

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 13 - November 21, 1996

The Corporation for National Service has included a Virginia Tech program in its publication The Internet Guide to National Service Networking.

The Virginia Tech Service-Learning Center is featured in the guide designed especially for the national service community. It contains basic technical information for understanding the Internet and its resources, along with detailed advice for getting started.

The Service-Learning Center, a program of Learn and Serve America: Higher Education, is featured as a program that is using the Internet to improve communications and build the capacity of its program. Michele James-Deramo, director of the Service-Learning Center, said the Internet is used in every level of the program. Students use technology in their mentoring activities; the center has a listserv that is used for teaching and discussions; and program elements such as the service-learning application can be completed from the center's homepage. "We encourage what we call virtual placement, where classes will complete all forms online and they will be interfaced into the database," James-Deramo said.

Virginia Tech's Service-Learning Center, established by the College of Arts and Sciences in January 1995, facilitates partnerships between students and faculty members and K-12 schools or community organizations with the goal of improving the social, educational, and environmental opportunities of the populations served. Service-learning students earn academic credit when they integrate their course work with community-service projects that address important local needs as well as build upon the strengths and capacities unique to the region.

During 1995-96, 370 students from 33 courses or service-learning programs volunteered more than 7,900 hours in local schools, organizations, and communities.