On 25 March 2015, SIM University (UniSIM) signed an agreement with Professor Timothy K. Stanton, Director Emeritus of the Bing Overseas Studies Programme, Stanford University. With this, Professor Stanton became the first member of the UniSIM College (UC) Service-Learning Resource Panel. He will advise UC faculty and staff on the UC Service-Learning Programme and co-develop a Certificate in Service-Learning Programme with UniSIM, in this capacity.
The objective of the certificate programme is to build a community of service-learning practitioners in Singapore, grounded in the principles, practices and ethical considerations of service-learning, who are able to articulate and model their own voice and vision in service-learning practice.
After the signing, Professor Stanton delivered a seminar on "The Role Of Service-Learning In Higher Education And Beyond" at UniSIM, sharing the history of the development of service-learning in higher education, theoretical frameworks for related curricula, and principles and examples of practice. Faculty and students shared their reflections post-seminar:
"Professor Stanton's sharing of his rich experience working with community partners in Cape Town through his examples of students' service-learning projects was inspiring and thought-provoking. It was stimulating hearing the challenges of performing service-learning in a different cultural context, as well as the importance of matching students' expectations and skills with the needs of local communities," said Dr Neo Yu Wei, Senior Lecturer in UniSIM's Social Work programme.
"After this seminar, I realised that students can apply their skills or knowledge in their respective disciplines to help different communities. I strongly agree with Professor Stanton that learning service is as important as service-learning to build a positive culture of service, and learn about real community needs to ensure our service benefits the community. My co-leader and I intend to incorporate what we have learnt in school into our service-learning initiatives," said Ms Sia Wan Ting, first-year UniSIM full-time Bachelor of Science in Finance programme student.