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Bill VanderClock Honored for Advocating Service-Learning Among Students
For nearly two decades, Bill VanderClock, lecturer in the Computer Information Systems degree program, has incorporated service-learning into his courses, sponsoring nearly 1,000 students in community-based work through embedded and fourth-credit course projects. His efforts were recently recognized with the Bentley Service-Learning Center Distinguished Faculty Award.
“Bill has worked with every BSLC director to help identify ways to bring service-learning to his students,” says BSLC director Edward Zlotkowski. “He has also continuously sought to improve his own understanding and practice of service-learning. Long before our current emphasis on discipline- and course-specific work, Bill revised the reflective/analytical component of his service-learning assignments to create a tighter connection between community-based activities and course objectives.”
More recently, VanderClock helped adapt a blog assignment (originally developed by CIS colleague Mark Frydenberg), which includes both technical requirements and a civic responsibility link requirement.
“Each IT101 service-learning student now builds a blog that gets added to as the semester goes along. It provides a way to demonstrate the links between their service-learning and their Bentley classroom and also requires that they demonstrate some technical skills learned in class to make it an interesting blog,” VanderClock notes. “The civic link is specific to whomever they are working with in the community and gets them to look at the bigger picture of a problem they are helping with in the community. It has been amazing successful and the students actually enjoy building the blog.”
Former BSLC students have experienced the impact of VanderClock’s work:
“Bill really gets service-learning. He understands the value of what his students are doing in the community and he makes every effort to connect that service back to the course work that they are doing that semester. Over the years, I sat in on countless numbers of classes that he taught – helping to co-lead the service-learning portion – and I was always amazed by the transformation of the students over the course of the semester.”
Will Quinn ‘09, Global Event Marketing Manager, EMC
“Bill has been an extremely supportive and passionate advocate for BSLC’s involvement in the Waltham Public Schools, both with our Waltham Computer Lab Project and America Clicks! He has given many hours of his time setting up technology, reviewing and revising curriculum, mentoring Bentley students, and working hard to ensure that [students] in Waltham have access to college mentors and access to technology. He has truly been a model of how to integrate service learning into the Bentley curriculum.” Dominic Basile,
Dominic Basile ’04, Instructional Coach, Elm City College Preparatory Middle School - Achievement First
VanderClock is a long-time member of the BSLC Advisory Board.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.