Our goal is to substantively increase Trinity’s overall experiential learning offerings – across all departments and programs – within both major courses and general education offerings. Trinity will become a place where all students have numerous opportunities to learn about themselves and other industries from powerful experiences such as internships, client projects, off-site travel, independent research, artistic and cultural programming, and volunteerism. In the next ten years, Trinity will seek to improve the quantity and quality of experiential learning in all academic programs by increasing the number of participating faculty, students, and alumni.
It started with a serious ask and ended with a big blast—this is the best way to describe Trinity’s 150th anniversary kick-off celebration, which took place on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.
The big ask was a call for Trinitonians to do what they do best: serve our communities. More than 500 students, faculty, staff, and alumni stepped up to the challenge, not only in San Antonio, but through various Trinity Alumni Association chapters throughout the country. In one day, Trinity Tigers provided 13 community agencies with more than 1,000 hours of service.
Volunteers began the day with inspirational remarks by Goodwill CEO Kevin Bergner ’79, who encouraged students, faculty, staff, and alumni to embrace Trinity’s tradition of thinking deeply and acting meaningfully. From there, hundreds of participants fanned out across the city to perform acts of service from assembling food boxes for senior citizens at the San Antonio Food Bank to clearing brush at McAllister Park.
“Witnessing 500 Trinitonians offer their sweat equity to make San Antonio a little bit better filled my heart with such joy,” says Jacob Tingle, director of Experiential Learning and 150th Anniversary co-chair.
View a photo album of the day of service and celebration, or share your photos from the day on social media using #Trinity150.
As part of Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program, Meredith Goshell ’18, a communication major, worked for San Antonio’s Battered Women and Children Shelter (BWCS) as part of Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program, where she got a first-hand look at how her communication skills can do good on a human level.
The BWCS provides schooling, counseling, shelter, and other support services to victims of domestic abuse. This nonprofit, according to Trinity assistant director for Experiential Learning Scott Brown, was one of a handful of nonprofits that Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program partnered with as part of a pilot program in spring 2018. Through this innovative take on work-study, Tigers can work with the University to use federal funding for work study at off-campus partners, such as Goshell did with the BWCS.
“This program gives students a chance to get real-world experience, and it isn’t just an internship,” Brown says. “Students are able to apply their knowledge and skills learned at Trinity to nonprofit organizations in the San Antonio community.”
Brown, along with team members from Student Financial Services and Risk Management and Insurance, has spearheaded the development of Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program over the past year, with big plans for the program’s future. In spring 2018, the program saw Trinity students partner with the BWCS, San Antonio Youth Literacy, KIPP Academy, and Multi-Level Youth Educational Outreach.
“This fall, we’re expanding that group of partners to 15 or 20,” Brown adds.
As for students, the work-study position provides another experiential benefit:
“When you get to your first job interview, you can talk about your classes as much as you want, but what employers want to see is your experience,” Goshell says. “They’ll ask you, ‘What have you done in the real world?’”