Summer 2008 |
Service learning (noun): A teaching and learning strategy that
integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to
enhance learning experiences, teach civic responsibility and provide
opportunities for community connections.
Since MCC began offering a formal service learning program three years ago,
students and faculty have been putting their noses to the grindstone to
improve the community. The MCC Cares Home Repair class is an annual facet of
the College´s service learning efforts, and in three years, the class
has changed the lives of residents of MCC´s four-county service area.
Led by industrial and commercial trades instructor Dave Horst, the group
uses home repair skills to adapt and remodel homes for clients of the Eastern
Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA). Clients submit their repair requests to the
ENOA´s handyman list, from which Horst selects projects that the class
can accomplish given the complexity, timeframe and material needed. He tries to
help with as many projects as possible while maintaining the quality of the
work and the experience.
This spring, MCC Cares was able to support a series of community service
projects thanks to the SkillsUSA Lowe´s Community Service Grant from
"The home repair class is a recognized opportunity for MCC´s
trade students and SkillsUSA members to use their construction skills in
real-world situations that benefit people in need," Horst said.
"I participated in service learning because it gave me a good reason
to give back to the community," said MCC student Tyler Jansen. "It
really made me feel good knowing that I was helping people stay in their
A May 21 luncheon celebrated the accomplishments of the students, faculty
and partners of MCC Cares this spring. The group completed projects in five
area homes, including replacing bathroom and kitchen floors, building
handicapped ramps, building a deck and a complete electrical change-out.
Dozens of students and faculty volunteered more than 325 hours to complete
these life-changing projects that saved the homeowners about $10,000.
"It feels good to help people that need help, especially older ones,
because somebody does the same thing for my parents halfway around the
planet," said Samir Karajic, an international MCC student. "Since I
cannot do it for them, I can do it for people here."
To get involved in the community through MCC Cares, visit