Drew’s focus on experiential learning through the new Launch program means plenty of opportunities for real world experience. Take a Community Based Learning class and make an impact in your local community. Focus on your leadership skills with the minor in Applied Leadership. Study environmental justice in Appalachia with Alternative Spring Break. Connect your passion for action with your academic interests at Drew.
Want to build real-world, resume-ready skills? Like to make a difference in your community? Community Based Learning (CBL) classes, also sometimes called Service Learning Classes, foster the ability to connect academic learning with action in the world. At Drew, CBL classes strengthen community partners that serves the common good. They fulfill the Off-Campus Experience requirement and qualify as one of the Launch program’s immersive experiences.
Drew Theater students take their talents to Newark. Advantage Arts is a collaborative theatre-making enterprise in which Drew students team up with high school students from the Newark inner city schools to create original works that are presented both on Drew’s campus and at the Marion Bolden Student Center in Newark. The students spend four weeks working on the plays with Theatre and Dance professors Chris Ceraso, Lisa Brenner, Rodney Gilbert and Kimani Fowlin and Drew student mentors. “The Drew students are learning mentoring skills and furthering their theater education,” says Professor Ceraso. “The Newark kids get to work in theater, but they’re also building life skills. They’re being given an opportunity to work collaboratively, with different kinds of people, in a disciplined way.”
Students learn how the Latino immigrant experience offers students the chance to give back. They volunteer to teach English as a second language at Morristown Neighborhood House, a non-profit and Drew community partner dedicated to assisting Latino immigrants facing economic and social challenges. In an Acorn news piece, students discuss the powerful impact of this class on their education and those within the Latino community that they are teaching, as part of the service component of the class. As one student interviewed states: “It has been just rewarding overall. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
The Center for Global Education provides both ShortTrec and LongTrec programs, some of which have a service component as part of their curriculum. Every other year, students travel to Orvieto, Italy to engage in Italian language, art, culture and Community-Based Learning activities, accompanied by Dr. Emanuele Occhipinti, Associate Professor of Italian and Chair of the French and Italian Department. During their stay, students participate in an Italian language program at the ‘Linguasì Institute of Orvieto, while the Community-Based Learning component gives students a chance to interact with local volunteer organizations. The activities students participate in change from trip to trip, although examples from past treks include teaching English to children, visiting local hospitals, assisting with local recycling efforts, helping artisans make crafts to be sold, and providing assistance at Villa Mercede.
Internships create unique opportunities to practice skills and theories learned in the classroom and see how they are applied in the workplace. Drew University offers internship opportunities with hundreds of companies and organizations close to campus and across the country.
Contact the Center for Internships and Career Development for more information about these opportunities.
Civic Scholar Gabi Bisconti C’16 had five internships in her time at Drew. Gabi interned for Joseph R. Patenaude Theater, New York Women in Film and Television, Night Castle Management, Greater Media NJ and ARTS by the People.
Every year, Drew students travel to Harlan, Kentucky for a week-long Spring Break trip. The goal of the trip is to deepen students’ understanding of Environmental Justice. On the trip, students learn about mountaintop removal and the ecological, cultural and economic significance of mining in local communities. The trip includes a civic engagement/community service component. Activities include hiking the Appalachian Trail, visiting a coal mine, planting trees on abandoned strip mines, and learning about the culture of these unique mountain towns. Students often describe the trip as “life-changing” and “a way to expand your horizons.” Past trip leaders include faculty, staff and graduate students from the Theological School. Applications accepted in January.