Ever since he started teaching nearly 30 years ago, Business Professor Vincent Troccoli has made it his goal to instill in his students the importance of giving back to the community. His citizenship/leadership project allows students to apply the principles of business learned in the classroom to real-world service projects designed to make a difference.
“My students are future businesspeople who will earn their wealth from society,” Troccoli said. “I feel it is important for them to know what it’s like to give back to society.”
Troccoli’s citizenship project is designed to help students gain useful knowledge in leadership, and experience how one person can make a difference by enriching the lives of others. Students applied the principles of business learned in class to an activity they choose with the goal to make an impact on a community in need. Students must also persuade three to five other people to participate in some way – without knowing this is a classroom assignment.
This year, one group of students connected with the local organization Caring for Poor and Orphaned Children (CPOC), which collects donations and delivers items directly to a small village in Cambodia. Students made it their goal to collect dental hygiene items, eyeglasses, laptop computers and other items, which the organization delivered to Cambodia. The group also worked hard to reach their $1,500 fundraising goal to purchase mattresses and other items to improve the quality of life of the community.
Troccoli’s class was part of a pilot program that will help the college determine how to implement more service learning projects in classes throughout the district. Instructors involved in the pilot program report on how students respond to service learning, how service projects reinforce classroom material, and whether these projects are beneficial to students. Troccoli believes service-learning projects only enhance the lessons learned in the classroom.
“Students are able to see what they learned in class actually works in the real world,” he said. “When my students used the basic principles of business that we studied in class, they had an easier time completing the project.”
Service learning initiatives have been implemented in a variety of ways throughout the district, through regular food drives, mentoring programs, local restoration projects and more.
For more information about service learning at Pierce College, visit www.pierce.ctc.edu/dist/supportservices/servicelearning.
Story reprinted, with permission, from Pierce News website.