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Schulz Information Center

“When the volunteers first came they were really nervous because they didn’t know how to work with a child with disabilities or they had never met a child with disabilities. [...] What I found is after one or two sessions they’d say ‘oh they are just like other kids.’ I strive to change the students’ comfort level with children with disabilities and to teach them tolerance and understanding.”
—Elaine McHugh

SSU faculty member

Service-Learning in Kinesiology

Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Kinesiology. The CCE can help you create or deepen your service-learning class. We provide models of other courses, sample syllabi, resources for course construction, reflective analysis tools, and risk management support.

Service-learning activity usually falls into two categories:

TYPE 1) Teaching/tutoring/sharing knowledge from the class
Example: Kinesiology students at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), in San Marcos, California, have several service-learning options to choose from in the physical education teacher track. The CSUSM students partnered with students at San Marcos Middle School in upholding the PE standards for the State of California. The children benefitted from having a consistent, vigorous program implemented by a PE student teacher in a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio. CSUSM students reflected that, “The energy and enthusiasm that the students provided is a great feeling as a teacher and really confirmed why I wanted to get into the profession” and “The service learning experience made the kinesiology courses more relevant because I was able to take the theories and the content that I learned in class and apply them to real students in a real class.” The community partner stated, “Your program is so valuable to our students because they receive individual instruction and personal positive feedback that they may not have ever received before, and sadly may never experience again while in public schools.” 1

TYPE 2) Using information in the class to do something with/for a community organization. Example: Students at the University of Indianapolis in Indiana partnered with the local chapter of Special Olympics in hosting the Special Olympics State Youth Basketball event on the university campus. The students planned, organized, and implemented the event. “The service engagement experience created mutually beneficial opportunities for both organizations. Special Olympics received a rent-free space to hold their annual youth basketball tournament and committees to plan, organize, and implement the event. The university, in turn, offered an immersive, experiential service engagement course for kinesiology and athletic training majors to apply content covered in previous courses.” 2

Please contact us for more information.

Ellen Carlton, Adrienne Raker, and Bulent Sokeman have instructed several service-learning classes and may be willing and able to share advice.

1 Strother, D., Knox, V., “Community Service Learning Within Kinesiology: An Extraordinary Program for Future Physical Education Teachers.” California State University San Marcos June 2013.

2 VanSickle, J., Schaumleffel, N., “Putting Partnerships on Paper: Creating Service Engagement Opportunities in Kinesiology and Recreation.” Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Vol. 86 No. 4 (April 2015): 24-33. Print.