Transformational Effects of Service-Learning in a University Developed Community-Based Agency

  • Michael Nino West Texas A&M University
  • Mo Cuevas West Texas A&M University
  • Melody Loya West Texas A&M University
Keywords: Service-learning, transformational learning, social work education, competency-based course curriculum

Abstract

The purpose of this article is first, to provide a model for the development, and implementation of a university developed, community-based agency that incorporates service-learning projects infused throughout the social work curriculum. The inspiration for the community-based agency was grounded in Mezirow’s (1978) theory of transformational learning and designed to provide social services to underserved populations and a training ground for future social workers. Second, we examine the transformational effects of students engaged in a competency-based, service-learning course at the agency, Methods of Social Work Practice. Using Clark’s (1991) adaptation of Mezirow’s theory of transformation, results indicate students experienced three dimensions (psychological, convictional, and behavioral) of transformational learning while engaged in the course and provide evidence that service-learning is directly related to the developmental process of social work students.

Author Biographies

Michael Nino, West Texas A&M University
Departmentof Psychology, Sociology and Social Work Director of Social Work Program
Mo Cuevas, West Texas A&M University
Departmentof Psychology, Sociology and Social Work Director of Social Work Program
Melody Loya, West Texas A&M University
Departmentof Psychology, Sociology and Social Work Director of Social Work Program
Published
2011-05-10