Additional Learning Opportunities

  • Service Learning

    At Worcester State University, the world is your classroom.WSU has been part of the fabric of the larger community since our founding in 1874. From our original commitment to the new thinking in education in the 19th century to our growing global emphasis today, we empower you to transform your curiosity and passion into the knowledge and skills that can shape our communities and our world.
     
    We recommitted to that founding vision in 2006 with a multidisciplinary approach fostered by the John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement
    . The center promotes collaborations among faculty and local organizations and businesses to develop student projects and internships that serve the community.

    In 2012, the center united with the our Residence Life and Housing Office to enhance this work through the creation of the Community and Leadership Experience at Worcester State (CLEWS) living-learning community. Each year, a select group of first-year students lives on designated gender-specific floors in Dowden Hall, takes 2 linked courses, and participates in extracurricular activities and trainings that explore themes of self-development, community building, and leadership.

    Graduate student opportunities develop organically through course or program activities created by faculty and program coordinators. Students in a health-care program may take service-oriented trips abroad, for example, while students in the management program might serve as statistical consultants for a nonprofit organization.

  • John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement

    The John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement encourages you to work collaboratively with faculty members and community partners to design effective research and service projects that are relevant to emerging social, economic, and global issues. We also challenge you to investigate social problems by examining their root causes in the classroom while simultaneously addressing those problems in the community.

    The center offers innovative programs with community partners such as Behavioral Concepts Inc. in Worcester, Fidelity Bank in Leominster, and RFK Children’s Action Corp. in Lancaster. The willingness of these partners to open their doors to our students and share their expertise with you and your professors is a key to our success. Their involvement will shape our graduates’ civic service and economic activities for decades to come.

    “Employers strongly endorse educational practices that involve students in active, effortful work—practices including collaborative problem solving, research, internships, senior projects, and community engagements.”
     
    Hart Research Associates, Association of American Colleges and University’s report “It Takes More Than a Major.”

    How It Works—A Case Study
    The John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement oversees needs assessments and evaluates WSU’s impact in the community. A survey project developed by Lauren Hassett ’13 as part of AmeriCorps VISTA is a perfect example. Hassett conducted The WSU-Worcester Public Schools Leadership Survey to evaluate the professional development partnerships between WSU and six public schools within Worcester County. The aim of the survey was to understand what works within the partnership, what needs to be improved, and what additional needs WSU can meet in the future.

    Hassett, Mark Wagner, Ph.D., and Christina Bebas, Ed.D., presented the survey at the National Conference of Professional Schools in New Orleans, at a Massachusetts Campus Compact network meeting, and as a breakout session at the University of Massachusetts’s Dartmouth’s Civic Engagement Summit.

    Read more about the project and about Lauren Hassett’s WSU experience.