It is known that in recent years there has been a growing awareness about the responsibility institutions of higher education have in contributing their wealth of knowledge and resources at the service of the whole community. Along these lines, the Latin American traditional concept of university "outreach” has been enriched or replaced by concepts such as “University Social Responsibility” (RSU), "social responsibility", "building social capital", among others.
However, we must recognize that the vision of the University as a "socially responsible" institution where the students’ social commitment is valued as an important part of their training still faces major doubts and debates in its application.
Is it possible to have a University that equally articulates its missions of teaching, research and outreach? Is it possible that the whole institution -and not only volunteers- directs its efforts towards solving priority social problems, especially those of most vulnerable sectors? Is it possible that Universities can contribute to building a better country without compromising academic excellence?
We believe that the thousands of experiences developed nowadays in Latin America and in the rest of the world allow a positive and optimistic answer to these questions, and Service-Learning programs in Higher Education are expressions of a new paradigm, which is already in practice in many parts of the world.
The Program aims to accompany the process of institutionalization of Service-Learning practices that allow effective articulation of Universities Social Responsibility with research and student learning.
To do so, our institution provides technical support to Universities that develop or wish to develop Service-Learning Institutional Programs, providing access to teacher training for project sustainability. So far, a total of 26 universities have received this Support Program
Thanks to the support of our donors, CLAYSS can offer this program with a costs reduction for selected institutions. Selection process especially values members of the Talloires Network Universities and / or Iberoamerican Service-Learning Network.
The Support Program includes:
- • Professional development courses for administrators, faculty and students of selected institutions (on-site and online).
• Scholarships to participate in the International Service-Learning Annual Conference, and the Visits Program to Service-learning Experiences that take place in Buenos Aires.
• Production and presentation of training materials.
• Tracking of acting projects.