Congratulations to our students who made the Summer 2014 semester Deans’ and President’s lists for outstanding academic work.
Service-learning, a teaching method that integrates instruction with meaningful community service, has become an integral part of an OLOL College education. Through this program, OLOL College students have given over 68,000 service-learning hours working for others. The College is pleased to report that based on the valuation designated by experts, OLOL College students have provided over $1 million of in-kind service to the community.
The estimated value of volunteer time is established each year by the Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations, and individuals that publishes research important to the nonprofit sector. The estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to make a difference in the community.
From June 2009 to June 2014, Our Lady of the Lake College students gave 68,084 service-learning hours working in collaboration with the College’s many community partners. The average of the Independent Sector’s in-kind value during that time frame is $19.10 per hour, bringing the total in-kind value of the College’s student service to $1,303,400.50. OLOL College service-learning students work with over 90 community partners who serve in sixteen parishes across southeast Louisiana.
The Service-Learning program at the College has been developed by and coordinated through the Office of Service-Learning, directed by Rhoda Reddix, Ph.D. “It is exciting to see that our student’s service now tops over a million in-kind dollars. But I can tell you this . . . the service itself is invaluable to everyone involved: the community partners, the people in the community who are helped, and the students themselves. Service-learning both supports engaged learning and reinforces the College’s Franciscan mission,” she explained.
An important part of the service-learning process is for students to write down their thoughts afterwards. A reflection from a nursing student after a service-learning experience at St. Martha’s Activity Center was, “I cannot begin to explain how this experience further proved that nursing is exactly what I want to do.”
As we begin our first semester together on the campus of Our Lady the Lake College, I hope you are as excited as I am about where we are. Since joining the College as President in April, I have been completely wowed by the energy of the College family!
Our college is more than a place to take courses and earn credits. It is a vibrant faith-based learning community where highly engaged students learn from and work with exceptional faculty, seasoned professionals, and leaders throughout our community. Through the interaction with your peers, the incredible service-learning activities, and the foundations of the Franciscan Values, your experiences here will truly be life changing.
Our faculty are much more than lecturers. I have observed how the small class sizes lead to the formation of lasting relationships between and among faculty and students. Faculty invest in their students’ academic and professional success. They challenge their students to succeed while supporting students’ efforts to do so. They understand the enduring value of professional preparation when it is experienced in the context of a broad liberal arts education. No matter which program area is your concentration, you will be immersed in a rich and relevant combination of rigorous coursework, real-life multidisciplinary simulations, and meaningful case studies, acquiring the competence and confidence to succeed in your chosen vocation.
Our goals for you are a reflection of the mission of Our Lady of the Lake College. Your time with us will change your understanding of what it means to serve. Our holistic approach to learning fosters a sense of individual purpose as you encounter increasingly complex moral and ethical questions. Whether you are called to work within the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System or well beyond the borders of Louisiana, whether you choose a career that you always expected or choose to work in an area very different than what you imagined, you will have established a firm foundation upon which to build a successful, purposeful, and faith-filled future.
I am glad that you and I have come to Our Lady of the Lake College. I look forward to meeting you all! Have a wonderful first week, and a fantastic semester!
Tina S. Holland, Ph.D.
President, Our Lady of the Lake College