Service-Learning through ASPCA

Introduction

            Service learning is the incorporation of theoretical learning with community service to help students put their skills into practice in addition to understanding their career path. Institutions in the country have increasingly embraced service learning because of its effectiveness in preparing students for the tasks in the real world when they are done with their education. According to Wolpert-Gawron (2016), service-learning provides students with a lucrative opportunity to understand their career path as well as work for the common good of the community. Typically, service-learning is supposed to be aligned with the course being studied by the students so as to help them understand their duties ahead that awaits them in the real world. The benefits that come with the engagement in community services is not only limited to career growth but also to the contribution of other factors such as social interaction and stronger commitment in research (Waterman, 2014).

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This paper examines the service-learning through ASPCA, and how the learning is relevant to the growth of the career of the students.

Service-Learning through ASPCA

            The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a non-profit organization that is tasked with advocating for safety and welfare of animals in the United States. Participating in service learning through the ASPCA is an excellent opportunity of putting skills and knowledge in to practice for the common good of the animal in the community. The Service-learning has become part of the education system in which many institutions of learning in the country have embraced (Wolpert-Gawron, 2016). The learning is highly recommended because it comes with the extensive benefits not only to the students but also to the faculty and the community at large. When students are enrolled in the community service, they gain the opportunity apply their skills as they promote the common good of the community. Community learning is prompted by the need to solve a problem facing the community. In the case of APCA, the main aim is to help in addressing the issues facing animals in the country as well as apply the skills for the sake of preparation of the student for the future tasks in the community (Alldredge et al., 2017).

Investigation

            There are has been a prevalence of brutality and cruelty among animal. Animal cruelty is contributed by the lack of understanding on the importance of caring and ensuring safety upon animals in the country. Although there has been an increase in the awareness on animal brutality, little has been done in promoting collaboration between the communities and organizations that deal with animals. According to Singer (2013), Animal cruelty involves any action that harms an animal such as torture, neglecting care and killing of animals. Failure to provide the necessary care to animals is one of the most widespread problems facing the animals today. In the examination of the animal cruelty, both actions and intentions are examined to understand the real intended impact on the animal. After going through various articles and statistics of the problems facing animals in the country, the school may decide to establish an initiative that will assist in sensitizing the communities on the needs for taking care of their animals. The move should focus on connecting the members of the community to other organizations that deal with the matters related to the animal safety such as ASPCA (Bershadker, 2016).

Preparation for the task

In preparing for the task ahead, the school should first conduct extensive research about the community and the causes of their cruelty against animals. Understanding the community is a good opportunity to understand the right approach to dealing with the problem facing the community. The students should be provided resources to read and understand the issues of animal cruelty. The collaboration with the ASPCA can help the students to be of more help to the community (Arkow, 2015). The ASPCA is a national organization that deals with the protection and safety of animals and providing awareness in the community. ASPCA already has programs in the community that are meant to promote collaboration between the community and animal organization as well as work together to promote a safe environment for the animals. Therefore, the role of students on the project should involve being enrolled in the community programs of ASPCA to help address the problem of animal cruelty in the community (Ruge & Fagan, 2015). The role should be involved in educating the community on how to offer quality care to the animals in addition to rescuing animals that have been victims of animal cruelty in the community.

Action on animal cruelty 

Because ASPCA is tasked with ensuring safety and promoting animal safety the country, the community services should be based on promoting the activities that are conducted by the organization. One of the roles of the students that take part in the service-learning through the ASPCA is to promote awareness in the community about animal cruelty, how to prevent it as well as report to the relevant authorities (Arkow, 2015). In order to promote awareness in the community, the students should use the skills and knowledge they have gained through their education for effective results. There is a wide range of actions that the students can take to help in counter the problem of cruelty in the community. One of the strategies includes enlightening the society on the need for caring for animals including dogs, cats and other domestic animals. Another action is taking the initiative to establish an animal rescue facility in the community (Arkow, 2015). An animal rescue facility provides the members of the community with a refuge where they can take animals that are subjected to cruelty by their owners. Apart from providing homes, rescue centers provide food and medical services to animals that have been subjected to the negligence of care.

Reflection

In service-learning, reflection is an important part that helps the student to reconnect with experience of engaging in community services. During the period of reflection, the students should keep journals and portfolios about the entire project so as to understand their contribution to the achievement of the goals of the organization (Dienhart et al., 2016). The importance reflection in service-learning is that it helps students to not only examine how they have used their skills and knowledge but also on the skills and knowledge that they gained from the services. During a service learning project, the student applies their knowledge and skills as they learn through the project. It is through reflection that the students also get to keenly understand how they have impacted their community and enhance their worldview (Johnson, 2014).

Service-learning through ASPCA will benefit the students, community and faculty. Firstly, community service through the ASPAC presents an opportunity for the students to positively offer their services to the community. This will help them to not only learn more about the community and animal safety but also share their expertise. The community will benefit from the services by being informed on ways to improve the care for their animals in addition to developing good relations (Ruge & Fagan, 2015). On the other hand, the faculty will not only serve the community but also increase their understanding of the issues and also understand the areas of research that they need to focus for future research on the problem. Additionally, the ASPCA service learning is an opportunity for the college and the faculty to portray a positive image to the members of the public which is an effective competitive edge.

Celebration for services learning

            During service learning exercise project, students achieve different outcomes depending on the goals and objectives of the project. The achievements help to motivate the students, therefore, influence them to embrace more service learning opportunities. In some instances, accomplishments cannot be quantified but the participation of the student in the project can itself be an accomplishment. Additionally, the celebration also influences other students in the institutions to also want to engage in community services so as to enjoy the same feeling that comes with a sense of achievement.

Assessment of the service learning through ASPCA

            Through the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), students will gain the ability to identity the problems facing communities and establish solutions. Problem-solving skills are important in real life for the purpose of identifying the problems and solutions in the communities. Additionally, students will be able to connect with the community and understand ways of implementing their skills and knowledge in addressing the problems in the community (Arkow, 2015).

Propagating the service-learning

Because services learning only take a given period, it is important to have a lasting solution to the problem affecting the community. In the case of service-learning through ASPCA, the students should maintain their connection with the society to maintain their awareness in the society. Continued awareness by educating the community and providing them with materials to help them through the problem helps to provide a lasting solution to the problem (Rutti et al., 2016). Students should, therefore, continued educating the society on animal safety and provide the community with materials that educate and inform the members of the community on animals care and safety.

Conclusion

Service learning is important for giving students an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge gained in solving the problems facing the community. Because problems that face the communities vary therefore educators focuses on selecting the right community service that aligns with the aspirations of the students. Volunteering to work with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a good opportunity for the students to put their skills and knowledge into practice but also an opportunity to help in addressing the problem of animal cruelty in the society. Firstly, the students are required to investigate and understand the problem and prepare a course of action to be used in addressing the problem. In this case, the investigation should involve examining of the locations that are most affected by the problem and the animals that are at a high risk of being subjected to cruelty. After the investigation, students are required to take actions and engage with the community in addressing the problems at hand and undergo a reflection. Reflection aims at examining the skills and knowledge and students have employed and gained from the project and it benefits society, faculty and career growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Alldredge, K., Estberg, L., Johnson, C., Burkom, H., & Akkina, J. (2016). Somebody’s Poisoned the Waterhole: ASPCA Poison Control Center Data to Identify Animal Health Risks. Retrieved November 2, 2017, from Online Journal of Public Health Informatics8(1). Retrieved November 2, 2017, from http://jghcs.info/index.php/l/article/download/299/263

Arkow, P. (2015). Recognizing and responding to cases of suspected animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect: what the veterinarian needs to know. Veterinary Medicine Research and Reports6, 349-59.

Bershadker, M (2016). ASPCA at 150: Next Steps in Preventing Animal Cruelty. ASPCA. Retrieved November 2, 2017, from https://www.aspca.org/blog/aspca-150-next-steps-preventing-animal-cruelty

Dienhart, C., Maruyama, G., Snyder, M., Furco, A., McKay, M. S., Hirt, L., & Huesman, R. (2016). The impacts of mandatory service on students in service-learning classes. The Journal of social psychology156(3), 305-309.

Johnson, O. N. (2014). Dog fighting and the growing epidemic of animal cruelty. The Journal of Law Enforcement3(3).

Ruge, C., & Fagan, J. M. (2015). Developing a Rutgers Community Animal Response Team. Retrieved November 2, 2017, from https://rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu/rutgers-lib/47846/PDF/1/

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