This post was authored by Professor Renee Adamany LMSW
During a recent Human Services field class at SUNY Schenectady, I asked the students to share one of their accomplishments within their field placement site. One student, who is completing her field experience virtually, states that she is learning to embrace progress over perfection. This phrase is so applicable during this pandemic. I teach Human Services courses and spent much of the summer worrying how students will learn communication skills in an asynchronous class. However, even though this teaching method is not ideal, the students are progressing amazingly. I embed Applied Learning methods in all of my classes, and I thank the SUNY system for providing valuable resources.
Students in my SOC 127 Interpersonal and Group Dynamics class learn and practice communication skills through creating and executing a group project in collaboration with local non-profit agencies. Since we need to limit in-person contact, I have been innovative in assisting students in creating these projects. The students self-selected into groups and met in class and via Blackboard Collaborate to formulate a plan to execute their project. If students are employed at an agency, they are the lead in performing an activity with the clients.
Some projects include a fall party, doing arts and crafts, and educational activities with the clients. The other group members assist in collecting the needed items. Some student groups are connected with agencies through previous volunteer experiences and collected items for these agencies. These eight student groups collected and distributed over $2,000 worth of goods. I admire their determination in progressing toward their degree completion by completing this required course.
Once again, the determination, resilience, and generosity of SUNY Schenectady students progresses in new and amazing ways!