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.
A Guide to Incorporating Service Learning into Counselor Education
Donna J. Dockery
Service learning is a valuable instructional method that may be used to incorporate experiential learning in counselor education programs, and provides an appropriate venue for linking theory and practice while enhancing collaboration with the greater community (Burns, 1998). The Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) recommends counselor educators incorporate service learning into their programs by fostering collaborative partnerships between universities, schools, and community agencies (ACES, 1990). In addition to educational and community benefits, service learning can positively influence personal development in counselor education students through increasing social competence and self-esteem (Williams, 1990). Participants in service learning have the opportunity to enhance their self-awareness, engage and interact with peers and diverse members of the community, and develop a community-centered perspective (Burnett, Hamel, & Long, 2004). Service learning experiences also help students translate theory into practice (National Service Learning Clearinghouse, n.d.), develop effective communication skills (Wells & Grabert, 2004), promote social responsibility (Burnett, Long, & Horne, 2005), and foster compassion for others (National Service Learning Clearinghouse, n.d.).