Executive Summary: At the request of President Morse and the Student Employment Center's Community Service/Volunteer Program, Western's 1994 alumni survey documented the extent and nature of community service activity by Western students, both as part of their course work and as non-course-based volunteer activities. We refer to these activities as "service learning." We also measured students' impressions concerning the value of their service experiences and estimated the impact of students' community service activities on the Bellingham and Whatcom County communities. Findings are based on responses by 1513 of the 2219 graduates in the Class of '93. Asked whether they had ever participated in "any community service activities.. .either as part of a course, part of a group, or individually.. .that assisted the public or a non-profit organization...." almost half (48.9%) responded in the affirmative. Just over one-fourth (25.8%) report one or more internship experiences included under the service learning heading. Slightly more (27.0%) report one or more service learning experiences that were course projects or assignments. On the non-academic side, 23.6% participated at least once via their roles as students, with a student group or organization, but not for credit. About one-third (32.6%) report volunteering at least once in "any other" (non-campus) community service during their time at Western. Some students are extremely active volunteers. The great majority (88.1%) of students who report any service learning report at least two episodes. Fully 14.2% of the sample (29.0% of those who engaged in any service learning) report five or more separate episodes. On the other hand, we estimate that in any one year, only one in eight Western students participates in any form of service learning, academic or non-academic in origin. The most common service learning activities are in the social, health, and mental health services, where 54.7% of thos
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Simpson, Carl and Clark, Linda, "Community Service Activity by Western Washington University Students: Its Extent, Nature, and Impact on the Surrounding Community" (1994). Office of Survey Research. Paper 397.