How You Can Help: Current Needs and Projections

According to figures provided by the Weppner Center for Civic Engagement and Service, during spring 2012, the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature ranked eighth among all departments at the various campuses of Florida Atlantic University that employ Academic Service-Learning (AS-L), as measured by total number of AS-L hours logged by students. Our goals are as follows:

  • to further increase the implementation of this pedagogical tool;
  • to make it easier for our students to participate in AS-L projects that involve traveling off-campus; and
  • to create an alternative spring break whereby students from Florida Atlantic University travel to an international location (determined by language) and carry out an AS-L project.

We could very much use your assistance in achieving these goals. Below is a short list of current needs. If you are able to help in the acquisition of these, or have any suggestions, please contact the department’s Coordinator for Academic Service-Learning and Community Outreach or the Director of Development and Outreach for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.

A Van

In the past we have invited and hosted residents from neighboring nursing homes and public housing communities to the main campus of Florida Atlantic University to watch sporting events and visit our classrooms along with students with whom they interact on a regular basis in lingua. It has been our opportunity to return the favor, as it were, and show them the university. We would like to host such an event at least once per semester, but transportation is an issue. A van would facilitate these and other trips that enhance the educational experience of our students, along with the overall well-being of the members of neighboring communities.

Funds to Subsidize Student Travel to Off-Campus Venues

Our community partners are located within a 25-mile radius of the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University. By far, the greatest obstacle preventing many of our students from performing AS-L projects at neighboring institutions is the expense involved in traveling to and from these locations. We would like to be able to subsidize students' mileage and are hard at work writing various grants to do precisely that. Undoubtedly, this is our area of greatest need.

Funds to Cover the Program's Administrative Costs

The constant planning, the nurturing of existing inter-institutional relationships, and the creation of new opportunities for our students implies a significant amount of time on the part of our faculty. Administrative costs are relatively minimal but crucial for our endeavor to continue to flourish.

Funds to Establish an Alternative Spring Break Abroad

Each spring, a sizeable handful of students from our university choose to spend their spring break helping the less fortunate throughout the State of Florida. Motivated in part by the expressed interest of our students in Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature, we would like to add an international dimension to the university’s current offering of alternative spring break projects and destinations. It is something that various sister institutions within the State of Florida have been successfully doing for many years, and it would certainly prove immensely rewarding to all participants.