What began in 1994 as a three-campus partnership has grown to nine campuses from Bristol to Chattanooga. Private and publi, two- and four-year colleges and universities have joined together to establish service-learning programs on their respective campuses. From both urban and rural campuses, the students, faculty and staff have learned, served and led initiatives in literacy, youth leadership, hunger, service to our national parks, health care, historical preservation, America’s Promise, anger management for teens, domestic violence prevention, and completing community needs assessments for multiple counties.
Service-Learning courses have been developed in such disciplines as English, Spanish, art, chemistry, biology, business, astronomy, psychology, history, geography, nursing, law, education, communications, statistics, theatre, freshman year experience, economics, physical education, and philosophy. Through these courses students have learned about the issues of our communities and the methods for creating change. In six years, thousand of students in Tennessee have learned that they can make a difference; that they can find time to do service; that they enjoy giving of themselves; and that they want to have more opportunities to serve and to grow as leaders.
These nine campuses have come together to make a commitment to community engagement and partnership. They have established a model of service and collaboration to be emulated by other colleges and universities in the state. In fact, they have chosen to expand their consortium to include new members from other higher education institutions in Tennessee and to serve as teachers and mentors for those schools.
The East Tennessee Consortium for Service-Learning and its member campuses: King College, Milligan College, East Tennessee State University, Tusculum College, Walters State Community College, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Maryville College, and the Chattanooga State Community College In are responsible for exciting growth and development of leadership in service and community engagement in East Tennessee.