Higher education: An assessment of community development -based service learning in small rural municipalities in the First Congressional District of North Carolina
To understand the relationship between small rural municipalities and institutions of higher education, a study was conducted which assessed community development-based service learning in the small rural municipalities of the First Congressional District of North Carolina. During the period of February 19-25, 2007, a telephone survey was administered to the population (N=78) of small rural municipalities in the First Congressional District of North Carolina. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, including means and standard deviations.
While a majority of the respondents were aware that students enrolled in North Carolina institutions of higher education may provide assistance through community development-based service learning, only 3.8% had actually received assistance in the last 18 months and about 16% reported having had any previous service-learning experience.
Approximately 75% of the respondents had not sought assistance from a North Carolina institution of higher education with a community development-based service-learning project or communicated with a representative from a North Carolina institution of higher education with regard to community development-based service learning.
The respondents however, indicated a strong interest in community development-based service-learning assistance. Approximately 96% of the respondents reported being interested in learning more about community development-based service-learning opportunities. These respondents also indicated a very strong need for assistance with community development projects and expressed a strong willingness to encourage other leaders from their municipalities to seek community development-based service-learning assistance.
Factor analysis was used to form a community development-based service-learning scale. Ordinary least squares regression was used to identify a correlation between the community development-based service-learning scale and municipal population. In the First Congressional District, municipalities of smaller populations were less likely to obtain assistance through community development-based service learning than larger municipalities.
Collectively, these findings highlight the need to continue the discussion about higher education's role in community development, especially in small rural municipalities.
0617: Public administration
0745: Higher education