Community-Based Learning with Daily Work

(left to right) Amy Zsohar, Timmy Conlin, Gina Chandi, Madison Caroon, Kaitlyn Simones, Victoria Filter, Josh Storms
(left to right) Amy Zsohar, Timmy Conlin, Gina Chandi, Madison Caroon, Kaitlyn Simones, Victoria Filter, Josh Storms

Small Group Communication students help with organization’s annual fundraiser

Inver Hills Community College students in the Small Group Communication course taught by Amy Zsohar, communication faculty at the college, partnered with Daily Work during spring semester 2018 as part of a community-based learning project. A nonprofit based in St. Paul, Daily Work guides and mentors self-supporting job seekers on the path to sustainable employment.
Emily Johnson serves as director of career development at Inver Hills. She reported that community-based learning gives students the chance to expand their classroom experience through community service.
“The students assisted with Daily Work’s annual fundraiser by taking on a number of tasks,” Emily said. “They applied the knowledge they acquired from their coursework to a real-world situation.”

“Inver Hills students helped with every facet of planning Daily Work’s annual fundraising luncheon. They were introduced to every aspect of what goes into planning a major event; from recruiting sponsors and assisting with menu selections to creating an experiential tour about Daily Work and filming a promotional video.
I was very impressed by the care and dedication demonstrated by the students and their instructor, Amy Zsohar. Some of them even made donations!”
— Julie Hoff, Executive Director, Daily Work

Amy Zsohar noted that the project gave her students a way to learn skills they can use in their future careers.
“When I was told I would be teaching Small Group Communication, I immediately wanted to find a way to make the course applicable to students as they go forward in their education and careers,” Amy said. “Daily Work offered us this opportunity. In small groups, the students focused on different parts of a larger project of helping Daily Work plan its annual fundraiser.”
Amy added that the student groups acted as liaisons between Daily Work and vendors, corporations, foundations, Daily Work clients, event table hosts and Daily Work volunteers.
“Throughout the semester, the students had to develop leadership skills, coordinate schedules, solve problems as a group, and make sure the event was done well and smoothly,” she said. “At the end of the semester, students applied the skills they learned in class to their groups and their interactions with others. This project offered my students a chance to see the real-world necessity and power of good small-group communication skills.”
Amy related that one of her students, Madison Caroon, learned a lot from her community-based learning experience.
“Madison believes the project was eye-opening regarding how much work goes into putting on an event,” Amy said. “She was part of the logistics team and worked to make sure the vendors and Daily Work were on the same page. She was also primarily responsible for the table flowers. She saw the project as an extremely effective way to learn small-group communication. Madison had to communicate with her group, the other groups, outside vendors and Julie Hoff, the executive director of Daily Work. She feels she really learned how to adapt her communication skills.”

(left to right) Director Emily Johnson, Instructor Amy Zsohar, Timmy Conlin, Gina Chandi, Madison Caroon, Victoria Filter, Kaitlyn Simones, President Tim Wynes, Josh Storms, Dean Ann Dieman-Thornton
(left to right) Director Emily Johnson, Instructor Amy Zsohar, Timmy Conlin, Gina Chandi, Madison Caroon, Victoria Filter, Kaitlyn Simones, President Tim Wynes, Josh Storms, Dean Ann Dieman-Thornton

More about Daily Work

Our vision is to help create a community where all people can support and sustain themselves through work, and, as a result, take active roles in the lives of their families and neighborhoods, benefiting all.
We provide all services at no cost to job seekers thanks to a crew of committed volunteers and college interns who serve as case managers. Our case managers help job seekers access community resources, develop job search tools such as resumes and cover letters, and help them learn work readiness skills. ¹
Read more…

Visit Daily Work to learn more.

¹ Courtesy of Daily Work

Communication Studies Transfer Pathway A.A.

The Communication Studies Transfer Pathway Associate of Arts (A.A.) offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an Associate of Arts degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated Communication bachelor’s degree programs at Minnesota State universities. The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing the pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State Universities* enter the university with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor’s degree programs in a related field. Read more…

COMM 2230 • Small Group Communication • 3.0 credits

Introduces students to the practice and theory of communicating in small group settings. Working in groups is an integral part of living in today’s society. Community and workplace situations require us to be able to lead, participate, and follow effectively. Participating in this course will assist students in developing the leadership, conflict management, problem solving and discussion skills necessary to function in group settings. Students will apply small group communication theory in small, task-oriented groups and develop presentation skills to showcase their understanding of what it means to be an effective group member. Evaluating the effectiveness of their own and others’ group communication behaviors is also required.

To learn more about Communication Studies at Inver Hills, contact:

Shiloh Gideon-Sjostrom
Communication Faculty

What is community-based learning?

Community-based learning (CBL) happens when students and faculty enhance their course experience by applying the concepts and skills they have acquired in their coursework to a real-world context that meets a community need. A wide variety of possibilities exist for community-based learning collaborations between classrooms and community partners.
Community-based learning can be accomplished in a number of ways:

  • Individually or by an entire class (required for credit or optional)
  • Direct service or indirect service
  • Research or advocacy
  • In the community, in the classroom or completely online

Read more…

To learn more about the Center for Career Development and Community-Based Learning at Inver Hills, contact:

Emily Johnson
Director of Career Development
Inver Hills Community College

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