(Santa Ana, CA)—The term “service learning” goes beyond traditional learning in the classroom. At Santa Ana College (SAC), students also learn from experience by working directly with nonprofit organizations and local schools. Service learning placements can be tied to course curriculum and program requirements (i.e. nursing, education, etc.), or students can also volunteer independently to explore careers and gain experience related to their majors.
To facilitate service learning opportunities for students, Santa Ana College will host a Service Learning Fair on Wednesday, October 5, providing a one-stop opportunity for students to meet with agencies and organizations that can use their services and jump-start their career development.
Approximately 1,000 SAC students participated in service learning opportunities during the 2015-2016 academic year, contributing 22,000 volunteer hours to the 223 nonprofit agencies the school partners with to provide learning options. Students who complete 100 volunteer hours or more within a 12-month period receive an award from the President of the United States honoring their volunteer service. All students are required to attend a Service Learning Orientation before beginning their placement.
“Part of our commitment as a community college, is to serve our community and provide our students with experiential learning opportunities,” said Sandy Morris, SAC service learning coordinator. “Service learning is an incredible opportunity for the college and our students to give back to the communities we serve.”
Juan Hernandez and Joanna Soriano are two Santa Ana College students who have benefited from service learning experiences.
Hernandez completed the SAC medical assistant program and is now completing prerequisites for the college’s nursing program. Last year, he volunteered 212 hours with the American Cancer Society and earned a Presidential Award. He also helped coordinate the American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraiser at the college. Hernandez said, “Service learning allowed me to network with many professionals who made me see life through a different perspective. The experience made me strive to have more focus on my future in the medical profession.”
Soriano was a freshman at the college last year and performed her service learning assignment in the SAC library. Contributing more than 100 hours, she also earned a Presidential Award for her service. When asked about her service learning experience, Soriano said, “I learned what to expect while working with people. I learned that I could help others.”
The Service Learning Fair will be held Wednesday, October 5, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the patio outside the Johnson Center.
For more information about the Service Learning Fair or service learning opportunities, the program is located in in the college’s L-building, room 222. Call 714-564-6254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit www.sac.edu to learn more.
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