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May 17, 1999

Reception honors community members for support of UCSC students

Some 150 people turned out for a reception last week thanking community members for their support of UCSC students in field-study placements. The May 12 reception at University House honored representatives from local agencies who have sponsored students in Division of Social Sciences field-study internships during the last two years.

Some 150 people attended a reception for field-study supporters, including Dean Martin Chemers (far left) and Professor Ravi Rajan of Environmental Studies (center).
Photo: Katie Frey

UCSC students contribute approximately 150,000 hours to local agencies through various "experiential education" opportunities, including internships and field-study placements, in which students receive academic credit while working in the field. Students work in schools, nonprofit agencies, community organizations, and businesses.

Experiential education, also referred to as service learning, is a valuable addition to the classroom curriculum, giving students the opportunity to see theories unfold in the "real world," test career or graduate school interests, and gain valuable hands-on experience that helps them focus their subsequent studies.

Research reveals that experiential learning within a structured academic program deepens student understanding of theoretical material and motivates students to learn more. Students also retain more of what they learn, perform better academically, and their subsequent studies are more focused.

The field-study reception was hosted by Chancellor Greenwood and Social Sciences Division Dean Martin Chemers.

The Division of Social Sciences Field-Studies Program offers five avenues for field-study internships. They are: Community Studies Field-Study Program, the Economics Field-Study Program, the Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program, the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and the Psychology Field-Study Program. Related programs are the UC-DC Program and the Education Field-Study Program.

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