Service Learning Programme The American college introduced Service Learning Programme (SLP) into Part V course in the year 2014. From then onwards, SLP started to function on extending the boundaries of academics. It works on a multidisciplinary educational approach that stresses the importance of social responsibilities in handling community and environmental issues. Some issues have been identified and grouped into five projects; they are Solid Waste Management, Vaigai Ecology, Village Ecology, School Extension Programme, and Child Support Work in Orphanages. Under the guidance of Principal, a Coordinator, Five project leaders and thirty-two project associates involve actively and monitor more than 2000 students of both I and II years. These students voluntarily enrol themselves in different projects, work actively, and develop their knowledge and skills by contributing their academics to community development. Objectives
To develop student’s potentials in acquiring value-based knowledge.
To extend the academia to the community through multidisciplinary approaches to community problems.
To encourage faculty in the use of action learning methodology.
To learn by developing practical solutions in consultation with the community.
To document learning and develop models based on learning.
Solid Waste Management on Campus – The American College – I Course Code: SLP 1202 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Solid Waste Management on Campus – The American College – II Course Code: SLP 2202 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Course Objective The course aims at introducing the students about the solid waste and its management in The American College campus. Basic orientation about Service Learning Programme and Project
Understanding the physical structure of The American College campus – Observational visits to the various zones of American College.
Sensitization of the students regarding environmental protection with special emphasis on solid waste management.
Inculcation of positive attitude among The American College community concerning Solid waste Management.
Identification, quantification, and documentation of the various solid wastes obtainable in the American College campus.
Observation and photo documentation of the accumulated solid waste during working days and special occasions and evolve methods to manage it.
Engineering various scientific methods to manage the solid waste in The American College campus – Exploring possibilities to set up a recycling unit.
Vaigai Ecology – I Course Code: SLP 1204 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Vaigai Ecology – II Course Code: SLP 2204 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Course Objective: The objective of the course is to create awareness among the students on the ecological issues pertinent to The Vaigai River and the riverside people. Their socio-economic, health and nutrition and other problems will be identified and a practical solution will be brought. Students are expected to explore the bare realities of The Vaigai River and are insisted to do specific activities, to reflect upon their experiences and to share their learning with the community. Basic orientation about Service Learning Programme and Projects: Understanding the Vaigai River
Exploring The Vaigai River
Students are expected to walk around and observe The Vaigai River and people living in its basin.
The historical importance of the Vaigai River
Students shall gather information on the historical background of The Vaigai River.
Students will visit the Vaigai dam.
Cataloguing vegetation on the Vaigai River bed
Plants have to be collected from the Vaigai river bed and identify their unique properties if any are to be discussed. Vegetation in different areas of the Vaigai river bed can be compared.
Man-made intervention in the Vaigai River over the years
Students have to collect information on the status of the river in the earlier days through literature and interview with the long term residents of Madurai.
Role of Government and NGO’s in conserving the Vaigai River
Students along with the faculty member will be visiting the Government offices and collecting the status of ongoing as well as completed projects related to the Vaigai River.
To know the Vaigai River community
Collection of information regarding socioeconomic status through interview schedule about the people living around the river basin.
The livelihood of the river community
Document the major occupation of the community during earlier days, at present, and their prospects.
The perception of the younger generation about the Vaigai River
Students will interview the younger generation (below 30 years of age), understand their opinion, and know-how they emotionally relate themselves to the Vaigai River.
Education of children in the Vaigai community
Students will visit the schools along the Vaigai river bed and find out the quality of education, school dropouts, and their job prospects.
Health and nutrition status of the community
Students will be asked to interview those people and collect information including their age, height, weight, and prevalence of common diseases, fertility and infant mortality rate, immunization of children, food habits of people living in the river basin.
To know the major types of pollution occur in the Vaigai River
Students will visit different zones (urban and rural region) of the Vaigai River and document the types of pollution.
Analyze the source of drinking water for the community
Students will interact with the community and find out their source of drinking water during earlier days and at present.
Farmer’s dependence on Vaigai for irrigation purpose
Students will be visiting the villages in the Vaigai flow region, interview the farmers, and find out their dependence on the Vaigai River for agriculture purposes and how it has changed in due course.
Solid waste disposal in Vaigai
Vaigai has become a dumping ground for solid waste materials (domestic/hospital) in recent days. Students will make a field study and find out the sources of solid wastes, their effect on the community, and suggest preventive measures.
Environmental concerns during festival seasons
Students will observe and photo document the vulnerable areas in the river before and immediately after festivals. The impact on river and measures to prevent/reduce the damage will be discussed.
Village Ecology – Action on Health – I Course Code: SLP 1206 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Village Ecology – Action on Health – II Course Code: SLP 2206 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Course Objective: To develop awareness among students about village ecology and health-related issues in villages Basic orientation about Service Learning Programme
Understanding the village life – past and present scenario.
Understanding the ecology of the selected village.
Documentation about soil, water resources, flora, fauna, and metrological data of the village.
Critical understanding of agriculture and irrigation practices in the selected village.
Health profiling old age people, women, and children.
Documentation of traditional health care practices in the village.
Understanding the prevalence of major ailments and the health care systems Prevailing in the village like Anganvadis, Primary Health centre, Government Hospitals.
School Extension Work – I Course Code: SLP 1208 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits School Extension Work – II Course Code: SLP 2208 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Course objective: This course aims at making the students to understand the issues in the educational environment experienced by the socio–economically backward children in the school and to share the academic resources of the college with the school. Basic orientation about Service Learning Programme:
Understanding the selected schools and their current education system:
Students will go for observational visits to schools and document their understanding of the school education system.
Sharing knowledge and skill of the American College with selected schools:
Facilitate the School teachers and students to make use of the academic resources of The American College.
Promotion of School environment:
To help in school maintenance systems and management practices.
Understanding problems and issues of slow learners.
Understanding the reason for school dropout.
To understand the patterns of relationships prevailing in the school.
Understanding the different issues involved in the book – learning method and Activity-based learning through observation, interviews, and any other appropriate methods.
Understanding the issues in the usage of teaching aids.
Understanding issues involved in the learning ability of the children and their socio-economic status.
Sensitization of the children about nature and the environment.
Note 1: The understanding of various issues that are developed through the above service-learning initiatives shall be shared with the school community and suggestions to address the issues will be made. Note 2: Components of each project are only suggestive and not prescriptive. The faculty and students can explore other related ideas. Child Support Work in orphanages – I Course Code: SLP 1210 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Child Support Work in orphanages – II Course Code: SLP 2210 120 Hrs. – 2 Credits Course objective: The course aims at broadening the awareness of the issues faced by children in orphanages through building positivity among them and thereby creating ethic and civic responsibility among the students of The American College. Basic orientation about Service Learning Program and projects
Profiling orphanages in Madurai District.
Identifying the socio-economic profile of the children in selected orphanages.
Sharing of the knowledge and skills obtained in The American College with the selected orphan-centres.
Inculcation of health and hygiene awareness and healthy practices of the children in the orphanages.
Setting of a library in the selected orphan centres and inculcating reading practices.
Imparting creative skills among the children in the orphanage home.
Sensitization of the children about nature and the environment.