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The position requires an awareness of what is happening on campus, the district, the state and the nation; even the simple changes could affect students’ academic successes.

Richards Takes Helm of ASO

As I embark on this fall 2008 semester of classes, I return to find many familiar sights and sounds, including a new one: “Hello, Ms. President.” While I am honored to represent the students here at Los Angeles Harbor College, I have come to realize the weight of responsi- bility that comes with this posi- tion. It is not just a title, a tran- script notation, or a coveted parking spot.

To the serious minded, it is essentially a full-time commit- ment involving effective com- munication skills, critical thought, interpersonal skills, time management, and a few street smarts to be in “the know.” The position requires an awareness of what is happening on campus, the district, the state and the nation; even the simple changes could affect students’ academic successes. The posi- tion also requires firm bounda- ries, remembering and remind- ing other students that I am a pre-nursing student first. Both positions require many long

hours to be successful.

This week I am now thankful for the many summer hours my executive cabinet and I have worked to organize and manage our office, strategically plan our calendars, and build a bridge of communications with the fac- ulty, administration and staff. I wholeheartedly thank each de- partment as we forge our ways through what has been to date an in-depth learning process, one salted with a few mistakes. These experiences have led to setting many goals: to formulate a Manual and Procedure Guide- book, which my cabinet and I are working on with our Student Trustee and the Student Senate of California Community Col- leges (SSCCC) for statewide distribution. This will empower student governments to succeed as they will not have to “re- invent the wheel” every year. This guidebook will be passed forward to future A.S.O. Execu- tive Cabinets as a statewide model.

Service Learning is Back!

Despite several glitches over the past two years, Service Learning is up and running again, thanks to the tenacity of several of our Psychology 41 instructors. Elena Reigades, Joan Thomas-Spiegel, and Alicia Sichan as well as nurs- ing instructor Carole Steven- son. All of the students who have participated in these classes have had positive evaluations from the agencies they served and have reported enthusiastically about their Service Learning experiences.

Service Learning is a form of experiential education which helps students “learn by doing” through structured activities outside the classroom and by

reflecting on these experiences. Through Service Learning, students have an opportunity to address and meet the needs of those communities in our ser- vice areas. It can be readily applicable to any course. At Harbor, students can earn 1 unit CR/NC, and the course can be repeated three times.

Students develop and learn by participating in service projects in the community and by ad- dressing local needs. Service learning projects that are linked to the curriculum can provide enriched learning which may result in increased student sat- isfaction and retention. Stu- dents have an opportunity to apply classroom theory to “real

Rachel Richards

During the process of formulating this guidebook, we have identified the following additional key goals: “Students First - a focus on Academic Success,” effective campus communication, and host- ing “Round Table Study Ses- sions” proctored by students and faculty at finals. Encourage aca- demically based activities in part-

Cont. Richards, p. 5

world” settings, thereby broaden- ing their life experiences, devel- oping critical thinking skills, and learning from practitioners in the field. Additionally, Service Learning helps to create a sense of civic responsibility to the sur- rounding communities.

If you are interested, please con- tact Susan McMurray, mcmurrsw@lahc.edu to discuss potential projects for your stu- dents next semester.

Visit the National Service- Learning Clearinghouse http://www.servicelearning.org Or Learn & Serve America: http://www.learnandserve.org/

Susan McMurray

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