Community Service Learning
Community Service Learning in the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) began in 1996 with the Alan Shawn Feinstein Endowment. Alan Shawn Feinstein is a renowned educator, journalist, and humanitarian who has dedicated his time, talents, and treasures to bettering the lives of others. The Endowment provided a gift of $1,000,000 to Rhode Island College and called for course work and community service as a mandatory graduation requirement for undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Education. In response, a FSEHD faculty committee, with approval by the Dean's Leadership Committee, drafted a community service requirement of 25 hours to be completed by initial certification teacher candidates one semester prior to student teaching. This requirement reflects the belief that a teacher is a professional person following a calling and offers them the opportunity to serve others in the pursuit of learning.
Community Service Requirement
The community service requirement is detailed in a Community Service Student Handbook that provides criteria for service, documentation procedure, related forms, and a list of potential community service sites.
In addition to the Community Service Requirement, all students seeking admission into a teacher preparation program must enroll in and successfully complete the service learning course, Foundations of Education 346: Schooling in a Democratic Society. Through this course, all prospective teacher candidates perform a minimum of 15 hours of tutoring in a Providence public school. Every semester, upwards of 150 potential teacher candidates work one on one with students to improve their reading and writing.
Alan Shawn Feinstein's commitment to the schools in the State of Rhode Island is legendary. He has dedicated millions of dollars to its elementary and secondary schools, and to its colleges and universities, to advance the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood. The Hope Award from the Rhode Island State Council of the Knights of Columbus, American Historical Society's Distinguished Service Award and the American Red Cross Longfellow Humanitarian Award are among the many accolades and honors he has received.