SEM 300 takes students out of the classroom

By Staff Writer
April 4, 2002

photo by Katie Reing

The seminar 300 course, usually taken during junior year, serves to enhance the learning experience beyond the classroom and into the community.

Focussing around the theme “the common good,” SEM 300 is a unique educational experience that exemplifies the basis of the core curriculum and is a reflection of the Cabrini College mission to educate both the minds and the hearts of its students.

SEM 300 found its place at Cabrini in 1990 with 13 different courses being offered. These courses were taught by professors of all the academic departments as they are today. Topics for the courses range from altruism to evil, from literature to media, from justice to war and from education to poverty.

This course encourages students to consider their roles in society as well as their responsibilities to their community. Recognition of these responsibilities cannot be taught within the confines of the classroom. Students in the course must make a weekly commitment throughout the semester to community involvement related to the theme of their chosen course.

The community involvement aspect of the SEM 300 course is not considered to be “required volunteerism.” The classroom/community learning experience is the same as an internship, student teaching or a lab in a science course.

However, rather than preparing students for their chosen careers, SEM 300 promotes working toward a better society.

The goal of SEM 300 is to assist students in using their intelligence and compassion to help make a better world. Acquiring practical knowledge and skills, understanding and accepting differences, and developing a sense of civic responsibility are the benefits of partaking in a community involvement project.

An average of eight SEM 300 courses are offered each semester. Descriptions of each course theme can be found in the college course catalog and are also mailed to students when they enroll in the course.

Although some SEM 300 course already have a designated community involvement project in which the class participates as a whole, some courses allow for the individual student to choose a desired site for their service project.

A list of community involvement projects is sent to students enrolled in these courses so that they may review and choose which projects are of interest to them. However, due to limits on the number of students needed at each site, the selection is based on a first-come, first-serve policy.

Students may also request to be placed at a site for which they are already involved. Information about the program and the duties involved must being submitted to Shirley Dixon, coordinator of the office of diversity initiatives/student liaison for service learning.

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