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Service Learning

Service Learning is where service, leadership, and ethics meet for the common good.

The mission of the Service Learning Program at High Point University is to engage students in an experiential and interdisciplinary learning experience that promotes their understanding of and commitment to responsible civic leadership. Service Learning courses involve students in a minimum of 25 hours of service that is connected with the learning objectives of the class: the service helps the material become more practical and relevant and the course material helps students better understand and serve their communities.

In 2011-2012 the Service Learning Program offered 4 courses in one department, but by the 2013-2014 AY, we offered 20 courses in 11 majors with a total of 297 students who served in the community as they studied in class. That’s an increase in 6,270 hours of service in just three years. In the 2014-2015 AY, the SL Program intends to have students serve about 10,000 hours in the City of High Point — that service is estimated to have an economic impact of $210,400.

A course highlight is listed below, but all HPU SL courses are listed under the “Service Learning Courses” tab on the left toolbar. Please explore the classes, look at syllabi, and see the good work and rigorous education involved in the HPU SL Program. The SL Program also oversees the HPU Community Writing Center, Bonner Program, Democracy USA Program, and VISTA Program…more on each of those can also be found on the left-hand tool bar. Enjoy!

 Bonner Leader Update: The Freshman Bonner Leader Experience

This past year has been by far the most uncomfortable, challenging, and stressful year yet. Last year during this month I was spending my time completing college applications, writing essays, and leaving the rest up to Jesus to show me where I was supposed to be. After getting an acceptance letter to High Point University I quickly got an invitation to apply for a very difficult scholarship to obtain, better referred to as the First Generation Scholarship. By the grace of God I was awarded that same scholarship, which allowed me to come to such a well respected and beautiful school. Summer eventually rolled around and my world slowed down a bit. I was finally finished with high school; four years of papers, endless readings, projects galore, and assignments that didn’t really have a purpose somehow all paid off. I was relieved without a care in the world and then I got an email. Emails have certainly become one of the top ten scariest things I have to face on a daily basis. In this email I was told that I was to keep a job on campus in order to uphold my scholarship and in all honesty I thought, “This is going to be amazing”. I was planning on getting a job anyway, now I wouldn’t even have to find one myself!

Goodness gracious was I mistaken. If you have ever been crowd surfing, then you know how I felt at this point. I was thrown into a crowd a people, people I didn’t know, just praying that I wasn’t going to blindly land on my face. Here at High Point University we have the Bonner Leader Program. In this program, a group of students of every grade serve our community in High Point through our university. The program’s goal is to ultimately connect the university with our city, helping those who have obvious and genuine need. Along with the primary service aspect of the Bonner leader Program, it also helps students to grow, to figure out their passions, and to teach young adults how to represent themselves well to others. Turns out, my new “job” on campus was to be a future Bonner Leader.  I did not know what I was getting myself into.  I was thrown into the program with little knowledge of its purpose, its history, or even my expectations. I legitimately felt like I was crowd surfing.

Now let me add that in the course of about three months my view of the Bonner Leader Program has quickly changed. I’ve had time to connect with the “crowd” and make relationships with those who are there to catch me. I’ve also learned that the Bonner Leader Program simply fits for me. I love serving, it’s a passion of mine and the fact that I “have” to “serve” to keep up my scholarship here at High Point University is fine by me. It’s been overwhelming at times, don’t get me wrong. As of right now the first year Bonners are going through the most overwhelming part of the process, which is figuring out where we will all serve best next semester at our permanent sites. To keep it short, it kind of feels like we’re all jelly beans and someone just knocked over the bowl, therefore we’re all rolling in different directions, not exactly sure of what’s going on. Through this experience the Bonner Program has already taught me how to have patience and hope even when there is very little to go around. I am confident that in time, all of our new Bonner Leaders, including myself, will have sites that we call our own and life will be a bit more manageable.

I have great hope for this program. I know its fresh and it going to have its growing pains but I am so excited for this upcoming semester. My hope is that I will be placed at an organization called West End Ministries. There, I have the opportunity to put food boxes together and serve a hot meal all in the same day! The feeling that one gets when you know that a family is going to have plenty of food for the week cannot be described. Along with this, West End Ministries has so many other needs that haven’t even been identified and it’s refreshing knowing that I can help to start new programs and gain resources for the organization. I know that I will love serving at West End Ministries, the people are amazing, the program is steady and flourishing, and I know I am actually making a difference at West End Ministries. If I could put it in a couple of words, West End Ministries is making tangible change with intangible benefits. When serving there, I can actually see how this organization is helping the people, yet when I don’t obtain a tangible reward I am still encouraged because my heart continues to be filled with joy just knowing that these people are being taken care of.  That’s what I love about the Bonner Program; each individual has the opportunity to figure out where they may serve best, that is incomparable to any other site. My hope is that every Bonner Leader will have the same feeling I have about West End Ministries at their own individual placement. The Bonner Leader Program has been stressful, unpredictable, and sporadic but through it all, I have found great joy.

– Kayla

 Spring Service Learning Class Highlights


ENG 2230 Literature and Community with Dr. Walker (Spring 2014)

Partnering with the Culler Senior Center in High Point and Pennybyrn at Maryfield, this English literature course developed a program called HPU LifeLines. LifeLines uses poetry to bridge the gap between High Point University students and the elderly community. Poetic experiences are provided to fulfill the interests and desires of our community partners. The reciting of poems combined with interactive activities and the joint writing of a poem strengthens the friendships between the elders and the students. This poetic journey also provides stress relief to all that participate in the workshop. Read more about the project at their website: Also read the recent story on the class featured on the HPU homepage.



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Service Learning News

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Alumni Profile: Dan Costello, Microsoft
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Professor Publishes Article on Service Learning
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