PHENND Guide to National Service Learning Conference

Posted by on March 3, 2006

As many of you know, Philadelphia will host the 17th Annual National Service-Learning Conference March 22-25, 2006. PHENND has played a key role on the local host committee, and as some of you may know, PHENND?s support of the NSLC conference is in lieu of hosting our own Annual Conference. With the National Service-Learning Conference only a month away and the end of registration only a couple of weeks away, I thought it was high time to put out a ?PHENND Guide? to the conference.

First, I want to thank my ?higher ed committee,? who worked to help make many of the events and activities listed below possible. They are: Madeline Yates from Campus Compact, Phyllis Walsh from Moravian College, and Trish Tchume and Heather Cronk from I also thank the other higher ed folks who have helped plan the conference at other levels, notably Suzanne Rocheleau of Drexel University, who has spearheaded all of the volunteer recruitment for the conference. And of course, thanks to everyone who will be volunteering at the conference to help make it a huge success. I think that the organization and dedication of Philadelphia?s higher ed sector is no small part of what will be the eventual success of the conference as a whole.

Below is a list of things in which Higher Ed folks might be particularly interested. Feel free to distribute this to colleagues on your campus, as well as your community partners. And of course, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

I hope to see you next month if not sooner!

PHENND Guide to the NYLC Conference

1) Higher Ed Track and other Higher Ed Workshops
For the first time, the NSLC will feature a ?Higher Ed? Track. This means that during each workshop block, there will be at least one workshop primary targeting a higher ed audience. However, in addition to the eight workshops that are officially a part of the track, there are at least another 16-20 that also are focused on a higher ed audience and/or presented by higher ed people. Please take a look at the full list of workshop descriptions at

I?m also pleased to say that there are several PHENND institutions and familiar faces who will be presenting at this conference (and it was a highly competitive process) including: Bryn Mawr College, Cabrini College, Villanova University, Widener University, Drexel University, Temple University, and University of Pennsylvania.

2) Pre-Conference Workshop
Service-Learning Across K-H Education: Exploring the Connections
Full-Day Session: Wed, March 22, 10:00 a.m. ? 5:00 p.m.

Presenters: Dr. Ira Harkavy, Director, Center for Community Partnerships; University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Novella Keith, Professor of Urban Education, Temple University; Joann Weeks, Associate Director, Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania; Liz Hollander, Executive Director, Campus Compact; Dr. Michael M. Morris, Research Professor and Director Community Learning & Public Service University of New Mexico; Trish Tchume,; and Heather Cronk,; moderated by Hillary Aisenstein, Director, Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND)

The first part of the session will consist of a panel presentation on issues related to the development of service-learning across the educational spectrum from kindergarten through higher education. Particular attention will be paid to the myriad ways in which institutions of higher education and public schools can work together. Then, experienced presenters will lead small groups to explore particular facets of K-H service-learning: active citizenship across K-H, university-assisted community schools, and pre-service teacher education.

3) Higher Ed Featured Forum: Presidents? Panel
Indicators of Success: Measuring an ideal campus-community partnership
Thursday, March 23, 4:15-5:45 PM

Join three university presidents as they discuss campus-community partnerships in all their intricacies, particularly with regard to indicators and measures of success. The development of community partnerships has gained more traction as a legitimate and even necessary course of action for higher education, particularly in the field of service-learning. But what to we know about the effect of these partnerships? And by what standards should we evaluate them? Dr. James T. Harris, III of Widener University; Dr. Constantine Papadakis of Drexel University; and Dr. John Strassburger of Ursinus College will all be on hand to share their perspectives based on the work at their own institutions. Both Widener and Ursinus are members of Project Pericles which promotes education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship. All three institutions are members of the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND).

4) Service-Themed College Fair
Wednesday, March 22, 4:00-5:00 PM as part of the Opening of the Exhibit Hall

For the first time ever, the National Service-Learning Conference will feature a service-themed college fair for the youth participants at conference. College admissions and community service/service-learning offices have joined together to showcase their institutions some of the best and brightest and most civically-engaged youth in the nation. An information scavenger hunt will help the youth navigate the displays and learn more about the wonderful opportunities for higher learning in PA.

5) Three Site visits
Three off-site visits will be available during the conference for approximately 15-25 participants each. Sign ups will be available at the conference itself. Look for large posters in the registration area. (note: times included travel to and from site)

Visits to? Time/Date
Swarthmore?s Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility: Thurs, March 23rd, 12:45-4:30 PM
Bryn Mawr?s Civic Engagement Office: Thurs, March 23rd, 1:45-5:15 PM
St. Joseph?s Faith-Justice Institute: Fri, March 24th, 8:30 AM-12:30 PM

6) Higher Ed Affinity Meeting
Friday, March 24, 6:00-7:00 PM, Marriott Room 306

Network, mingle, socialize, and have fun. Meet other higher ed folks from around the country, and around the world. Co-sponsored by PHENND, PA Campus Compact, and

7) PHENND presenting two workshops:
Hillary Aisenstein will be a presenter in two workshops at the conference. Details below.

a. Walking the Talk: Advocating for Service-Learning With Your District
Thursday, March 23, 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
Location: 103A
Track: Advocacy
Presenters: Hillary Aisenstein, PHENND; Ena Rosen, Need in Deed; Janet Starwood, Delaware Valley Earth Force
Target Audience: Community-Based Organizations
Level: Advanced
The Service-Learning Support Organizations advocates for high-quality service-learning in the School District of Philadelphia, and identifies appropriate mechanisms for assessment and evaluation. Participants who attend this workshop will learn the SLSO’s history and activities, and how to form a similar effort to advocate for service-learning in their communities.

b. Service, Learning, and Advocacy: A Closer Look at the Philadelphia Food Stamp Enrollment Campaign
Friday, March 24, 2:15-3:45 PM
Location: 201A
Presenters: Hillary Aisenstein, PHENND; Mary Summers, University of Philadelphia; Suzanne Toton, Villanova University; Judith Porter, Bryn Mawr College
Target Audience: Higher Education Educators
Level: Intermediate
This presentation will explore a particular service activity (prescreening individuals for food stamp eligibility) as a unique and beneficial complement to three different courses at three institutions of higher education in the Philadelphia area. The advocacy dimensions of the work will be highlighted.

8) Regional Showcase with some higher ed posters
Each year there is a Regional Showcase featuring the best service-learning programs in the region. Some of these featured projects will be from area colleges and universities.

9) Not to mention all the other great stuff!
a. Featured speakers Howard Zinn, Hafsat Abiola, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Jimmy Biddle, Winona LaDuke
b. Thursday Evening Reception (We the People Gala) at National Constitution Center honoring Sen. Harris Wofford (7-10 PM)
c. 200 workshops and featured forums
d. On and Off site service projects
e. On-site bookstore

Check out the conference website at for information on all of our featured speakers including Howard Zinn, Hafsat Abiola, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Jimmy Biddle, Winona LaDuke, and many more. You can also learn all about the conference happenings like the Exhibit Hall opening, Welcome Celebration, We the People Gala and much more?.

Don?t miss the 2006 NSLC ? We can?t wait to see you in Philly!

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