Two-Credit Waltham Group Practicum

Course Format and Content

Shaina Dorow next to a table with a display of the Waltham Group Leadership.This two-credit experiential learning practicum course is designed to provide students with opportunities to think critically about their leadership in the Waltham Group as it relates to community engagement. Divided into four units — Foundations of Service, Responsible Leadership, Theory and Policy, and Development — the academic content will complement the work students are doing in their organizations and support their leadership roles. This course will also introduce students to a wide range of faculty, community partners, and guest speakers who will bring their expertise to various class topics. The hands-on volunteer work students perform each week will serve as the foundation for a project and presentation at the end of the semester.

There are four units:

  1. Foundations of Service (service-learning history, community partnerships, community needs and asset mapping)

  2. Responsible Leadership (evaluation/assessment, risk management, leadership and managing volunteers)

  3. Theory and Policy (social constructs and context, policy/lobbying, and community organizing/advocacy)

  4. Development (philanthropy, grant writing, and marketing)

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Synthesize the history of service learning and community engagement in order to clearly articulate their own philosophy regarding their work in the Waltham Group.

  2. Assess and implement changes to their programs by drawing on topics presented in all four units.

  3. Exercise personal reflection techniques to examine connections between course material and experiences in their personal lives, careers, and world.

  4. Persuade and assess donors and development, evaluate leadership styles, strategically develop assessment tools, and provide examples of how marketing and advocacy impacts community engagement.

Who Can Enroll

Currently, only Waltham Group Coordinators can enroll in this two-credit practicum. There are no other pre-requisites. The class is capped at 15 students and is filled on a first-come, first-enroll basis.

Course Information

The course will next be offered during the spring 2020 semester. If you are a current Waltham Group coordinator or coordinator-in-training, please email Lucas Malo for an access code.

Course Instructors

Lucas Malo, Director of Community Service, teaches the course. It's important to note that there will be faculty and community partner guest speakers throughout the course.

Can I still log my service hours in the Commitment to Service Award Program even if I receive course credit for them?

Yes, students engaging in service, whether it be co-curricular or curricular, can log volunteer hours. Meeting or class hours, however, cannot count unless the time was spent planning or completing a community service activity. Organized group reflection activities on one's service work can count under the reflection category when logging hours in Sage.