The Undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences at Wake Forest University focuses on opportunities for its students to engage in service-learning courses in Nicaragua. These programs provide experiential education that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, encourage lifelong civic engagement, and strengthen communities for the common good.
During the summer of 2008, two academic courses were taught: Social Enterprise Leadership in a Developing Country and The Writer and Society in Central America. Students served in several non-profit organizations, including a physical therapy and rehabilitation center for children with disabilities, a nonprofit that provides education and vocational training to marginalized communities, a school, and an orphanage.
During the summers of 2009 and 2010, the two courses taught were: Health Issues on a Global Scale and Comparative Communication. Students engaged in service-learning projects that included volunteering in acute care clinics, physical therapy/rehabilitation facilities, and public and private elementary schools, as well as assisting with food-aid programs and conducting university-based research.
For the upcoming summer of 2011, the service-learning course will focus on children and play with a special emphasis on media. The curriculum will cover issues having to do with children's emotional and social development and how these are related to play. In addition, the course will consider play and social development, focusing on similarities and difference between children in the US and Nicaragua. The service portion of the class will include volunteering at a child care establishment in the US and at an orphanage in Nicaragua.