Joining the Invisible College

Two Berkeleyans Are Among 20 Nationwide Working Toward Service-Learning Goals

Professors Fred Collignon of City and Regional Planning and William Banks of African-American Studies have been chosen to represent Berkeley in the recently established Invisible College. The college involves 20 faculty from campuses across the nation whose work exemplifies outstanding leadership and scholarship in service-learning.

The Invisible College is a national circle of faculty and educators with commitments to connecting service and learning to rebuild communities while creating learning experiences for students. The college is sponsored by the Campus Compact, a national organization that supports public service endeavors in higher education. A goal is to provide opportunities for faculty to discuss how to infuse community service into the academic curriculum.

Criteria for membership include outstanding scholarship and active practice of and leadership for community-linked education.

Collignon is co-chair and Banks is a member of the campus's Service-Learning Research and Development Center's Faculty Policy Committee. The center provides technical and financial assistance to Berkeley faculty interested in teaching service-learning courses.

Five mini-grants of up to $1,000 are awarded each semester to faculty who develop courses that integrate community service into the academic curriculum.

"The benefits of carefully integrating service and learning are rapidly being recognized by faculty. The program can be a virtual wellspring of innovation," said Banks.

Collignon said he views his membership on the Invisible College as "an incredible opportunity to stay in contact with faculty across the country on pedagogical and practical concerns around teaching and service-learning. I routinely get 10 or more email correspondences a week from faculty across the country exchanging ideas."

For information on the Invisible College, faculty service-learning minigrants, or the Service-Learning Center, contact Andrew Furco, director of the center, at 642-3299 or email andy_furco@maillink.


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