Community-based learning courses, also known as AOK1s, are a three-credit Civic Engagement and Public Values requirement of Pace’s core curriculum. AOK1s offer students an exciting opportunity to put what they’ve learned in the classroom into action. In community-based learning courses, Pace students get first-hand experience serving the needs of communities in New York and beyond.
Some examples of AOK1 courses include:
Intergenerational Computing: Students work with seniors to show them the power of the internet–helping them feel comfortable with the computer and teaching them to use a mouse, instant message, send e-mails and photos to family and friends, and search the web for medical, financial, and other information.
ENV 201 Animals and Society: Dyson student Astia LeBron, who is currently the TA for this course, recently reached out to us to share what her class has been doing this summer. Working with the Bear Mountain Trailside Zoo, the students have been clearing a coyote path and helping protect a threatened turtle species. This course attempts to answer the question why our society seems ambivalent towards animals and what significance this has in our lives.
Service and Study in Latin America: In Professor Daniel Greenberg’s, PhD, HIS 243 Service & Study in Latin America course, students don’t just read about the history of Argentina, Brazil, Peru, or Venezuela, they experience it first-hand, when they travel to one of the countries to better understand its people, its culture, and its challenges. Just this May, students visited Caracas, where they taught basic English to school children. “My students, who represent a broad cross-section of Pace majors, performed a tough civic engagement project, working with children of urban squatter settlements. Caracas is a city of 7 million, of whom 4 million are impoverished barrio (squatter settlement) residents,” Greenberg says. “My students rave about the course in their journals, saying that it ‘changed me as a person,’ made them reconsider their values, change their major to something serving humankind, etc. The students’ responses demonstrate the power of service learning to promote personal growth along with teaching difficult concepts related to the Third World.”
In CIS 102Q Problem Solving Using LEGO Robotics, students build and program LEGO robots to perform complex tasks. Students work on challenges that incorporate the use of unusual hardware, such as light sensors, solar panels, and various motors controlled by student-scripted programs. Then they visit middle schools in New York City and Westchester to teach children how to design and program LEGO robots as part of an after school activity. Pace students also volunteer at the annual FIRST LEGO League Tournament held on the PLV Campus.
CIS 102W Web Design for Non-Profit gives students the opportunity to put their computer skills to good use in helping non-profits build websites. Just last semester, Pace student Kevin Eng helped a school build a website about the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Community Empowerment through Information Systems and Technologies: Since 2007, Seidenberg professor Jim Lawler has partnered with the AHRC NYC, an organization that works with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Each semester, approximately 25 students are paired with an adult in AHRC NYC to learn about their backgrounds, families, and interests. Then using software programs and integrated multimedia, the students create a presentation of the individuals’ profiles to friends, family, and staff members at the end of the course.
Psychology of Civic Engagement: Students have traveled from Trinidad and Tobago to Fiji to Barbados where they volunteered at orphanages, spoke to high school students about the importance of staying in school and following one’s dreams, worked with Habitat for Humanity, and more!
SOC 221 Juvenile Delinquency: This course is a sociological study of juvenile delinquency in American society, examining the status of youth, juvenile institutions, and theories of juvenile delinquency as well as our current legal environment and treatment of juvenile offenders.
CIS 102 or TS 105 Computers for Human Empowerment is designed to introduce students to basic principles of information technology and explore the use of the computer as a tool for human empowerment. Students learn to write simple computer programs, use the internet for research and communication, and use various software applications. Then they work with the classroom instructor to introduce and train community students in using personal computers.