TitleWhat went missing
NameFord, Ray B. (author), Ryan, Sharon K (chair), Giarelli, James M (internal member), Muschinske, David J (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education,
SubjectSocial and Philosophical Foundations of Education,
Service learning--United States--Case studies,
Service learning--United States--Evaluation,
Teachers and community--United States
DescriptionPurpose Service learning, an innovative program that combines community service with academic course content, has achieved a new vibrancy under President Obama. Over 1,100 colleges and universities are now involved in some form of community service, an increase of over 50% in the last 10 years. Despite the reported positive impact of such programs by faculty and students, little research is available on how to create and sustain a service learning program. This qualitative case study sought to understand some of these implementation issues through an examination of a failed service learning program at a regional university in the Northeast. Research Questions 1. How do faculty members describe their participation in the service learning program at Korbet University? 2. How do faculty members describe the organizational context for service learning at Korbet University? iii 3. From the faculty descriptions, what contributed to the failure of the service learning program at Korbet University? Methodology This case study utilized interviews with a purposeful sample of 15 faculty and reviewed documents to build an understanding of why the service learning program failed. To analyze the data record, a number of phases were utilized, including coding and subcoding, looking for evidence and relationships across the codes to develop categories that reflected the literature and research questions, and finally, “selecting data excerpts” (Hatch, 2002, p. 159) to illuminate the final themes. Findings The failure of service learning in this site was attributed to several interrelated factors. These factors were changing leadership, the undermining of organizational structures, and declining resources to support the implementation of service learning. As the organizational context became less supportive of service learning, faculty participation decreased until service learning was a program in name only. The findings corroborate those of organizational change experts that suggest it is the phase of implementing or continuing a new program rather than the innovative stage that typically leads to its demise. Significance Although this study is limited by the case of one service learning program, it is significant, in part, because it is based on issues surrounding programmatic decline and failure rather than success. It is noteworthy because it tried to understand from those involved in the program what went wrong. The study is also significant in that it examined organizational change and how innovations impact participants and organizational context.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Ray B. Ford
CollectionGraduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.