The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

    Speech 20 offers units to students who volunteer

    Between general education requirements and major requirements, it’s hard to make time for any other classes, but sometimes it’s worthwhile to consider the benefits of some courses offered at Fresno City College. Speech 20 — Community involvement — is one such class.

    The catalog describes it as “Theory and practice of community service in nonprofit agencies. Emphasis [is made] on the analysis, practice and application of communication theory, leadership, and citizenship through a community service experience.”

    Lyn Badertscher, the instructor, describes the class as an application of skills learned in other classes.

    The class “gives you a chance to get some skills; for students who don’t have work experience, it’s a way to get recommendations and check out their field. Some know they are in the right place… some are doing some refinement.”

    Students keep journals, work on portfolios and resumes, and meet once a week to share their experiences (after all, it is a communications class).

    The students in the class were enthusiastic to discuss their experiences. Louise London said she learned that her major wasn’t what she had expected.

    She began working at a community hospital and realized the nursing field didn’t suit her. Instead of going through the various courses and coming to this realization several semesters into her training, the class gave her the insight she needed to change her major early.

    She is now volunteering at Edison High school, working with teachers and counselors. This placement has her considering mental health and counseling careers.

    Banish Bailey had a less drastic change of heart. Her original major was teaching, but after volunteering at the Beautiful Zion Church’s after school tutoring program she found a better fit: social work.

    As she helped children with their reading and math homework, she found she was in position to help with a lot more than homework

    “There are people trying to figure out what they want to do. It’s just as important to find what they don’t want to do,” says Badertscher.

    The class is in contact with about 200 agencies. A class brochure lists the Chaffee Zoo, Craycroft Center for Children, Central California Blood Center, Valley Public Radio, Fresno County Library, Central California SPCA, Fresno Police Department. “It’s up to the students where they want to go,” Badertscher explains.

    Jeannette Mille, whose interests lie in social advocacy and victimology, noted the difference that choosing where you work makes. “I feel blessed to work at the [Marjory Mason] Center. I was first working at the Cedar/Clinton Public Library, and I didn’t like it at all.”

    Classmate Deana Brown agreed, “It makes a difference when you find your niche.”

    The learning experience in this class is different than most other classes. Cheron Rojo is working at Valley Children’s hospital lab and has previously worked for St. Agnes.

    He found himself teaching techs a few ways to do things. “I learned and taught there.”Working alongside interns and regular employees, these students have the same duties as anyone else in their field.

    Some students have occasionally received job offers from their volunteer company. Badertscher notes, “Employers tell me if someone will do the job right for nothing, they will be better if they are being paid.”

    Three sections of speech 20 are being offered during the 2008 Fall Semester; as of printing, all sections are open, though Badertscher states, “I like starting the semester with empty seats. The volunteer fairs at the beginning of every semester are a great way to promote the class.”

    Students can take the class for one, two, or three credits, based on their time commitment of 30, 60, or 90 hours and can be taken up to 4 times, allowing for up to 12 transferable credits.

    Brown stated, “By the time I’m done, my portfolio will look great. I tell people to take this class.”

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