Honours service-learning & civic responsibility
Universities have been urged to prepare graduates for successful professional lives and fulfilling lives as civically responsible citizens. Pedagogies of engagement, like service-learning, are touted as one means to achieve these goals. Connections between first-year experience and service-learning programs have been slow to develop. Further, empirical studies on service-learning in university honours education are similarly scarce. This article examines first-semester honours postsecondary students' sense of civic responsibility before and after completing a service-learning program linking a course on the Evolution of Community to direct volunteerism in struggling schools. Based on pre-post-responses (n=119) to the Level III-Civic Responsibility Survey, analysis of variance with repeated measures showed that participants' sense of civic responsibility was significantly increased over time on each of the dependent variables (i.e., community connectedness, civic attitudes, civic efficacy). Community connectedness scores increased significantly at the .005 level, F(1, 118) = 9.703, p = .002. The changes in civic attitudes and civic efficacy scores were extremely significant at the .0005 level, F(1, 118) = 14.498, p < .0005 and F(1, 118) = 23.56, p < .0005, respectively.