VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Collaborative Learning: The Effects of Service Learning on Personal and Professional Development
Elizabeth A. Keller-Dupree, Megan L. Little, Amanda G. Hagman, and Jessica J. Deckert
Service learning has long been regarded as an instructional tool for educational enhancement. Lacking from the research, however, is the impact of service learning for school counselors-in-training. As school counselors-in-training are charged with the task of partnering in advocacy, leadership, and as agents of change for children, families, schools, and communities at large, the question then becomes, “what impact does service learning have on the developing school counseling professional?” The current study involved 12 graduate school counselors-in-training writing reflective journals following their 10-hour service learning experience. From qualitative data analysis, four overarching themes emerged from the participants’ experiences. Service learning (a) challenged assumptions; (b) supported gaining new knowledge, resources, and networking; (c) was a positive experience; and (d) encouraged self-reflection of the future focused professional. Findings support that implementing service learning into graduate curriculum for school counselors-in-training can lead to meaningful gains in personal and professional development.