Westminster students have many opportunities to get involved in our community through student organizations, Greek life, Chapel programs and its twice annual VISA fair, athletics, Career Center programs, and opportunities through the Drinko Center. In addition, many Westminster faculty offer service-learning courses where service is academically integrated into the content of the course. The Drinko Center, along with Lawrence County Community Action Partnership (LCCAP) sponsors Make-a-Difference Day (Fall semester) and Global Youth Service Day (Spring semester).
The Civic Engagement Council (CEC) coordinates and facilitates, but does not administer, civic engagement opportunities on campus. In addition, the CEC will continue to foster closer, more formal relationships with area institutions and organizations.
The Council shall include fourteen members: three at-large elected faculty members, the Drinko Center Director, the Chaplain, representatives from the Career Center and Student Affairs, three student representatives (one from SGA and two from the Chapel), and four community members. The CEC will be co-chaired by the Drinko Center Director and the representative from the Career Center, with the Chaplain serving as Vice-Chair. Members of the CEC for 2012-2013 include: Dr. Douglas Armstead, Katie Gray, Leah Hunter, Dr. Patrick Krantz, Jackie Meade, Angie Mohr, Rev. Jim Mohr, Thomas Oberst, Melinda Perttu and Nancy Welker.
Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania is an AmeriCorps Education Award Only program. Participating students complete 300 hours of service over one year and can earn a $1,000 education award. The award can be used to pay for any legitimate educational expense at their current undergraduate institution or to pay for future educational expenses, as well as to re-pay student loans. More information on this program can be found at PHENND.
Community Fellows (CF) is a program designed to support students with a passion for volunteering who are interested in service and outreach to "at-risk" youth, K-12, through academic assistance, mentoring, and service-learning. Students will be provided with training and skills to help tutor and mentor youth to help them engage in educational programs. More information on this program may be found at PACC (PA Campus Compact).
Each student commits to completing 300 hours of service within one calendar year (August, 2012 - August, 2013). Each student receives an Education Award upon completion of their year of service. The Education Award may be used for educational expenses (i.e. tuition, loans, fees, etc.).
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA joined AmeriCorps in 1993 and is now the national leader in the battle to reduce and eliminate poverty in America. The VISTA at Westminster College is through Pennsylvania Campus Compact and focuses on developing and supporting community service, service-learning, and civic engagement programs at higher education institutions http://www.paccompact.org/vista.html. Our PACC-VISTA works in the Drinko Center to bridge campus and community through projects in the areas of tutoring and mentoring, volunteer matching, and supporting our service-learning courses.
Westminster College's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning named recent Westminster graduate Marah Alouise as its newest Pennsylvania Campus Compact-Volunteer in Service to America (PACC-VISTA).
A large part of Marah's role focuses on the implementation of a collaborative effort between Westminster College and community partners (West Middlesex School District, Cray Challenges and Origins) to provide an after-school robotics program, entitled "Transformers," designed to develop science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. In a dynamic and supportive learning environment, enhanced by the use of robots, students work with Westminster College student mentors to develop skills necessary to be successful in the classroom and in the future.
PACC-VISTAs have included: