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Civic responsibility development in African-American and Latino students: A mixed methods study to understand the effects of service

Randall R McCrillis, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods convergent design study was to explore how participating in service learning in their own racial community impacted self-identified African-American and Latino* college students development of their civic responsibility. There are many aspects of civic responsibility, including citizenship for democracy, participatory democracy, and social responsibility. For purpose of this study civic responsibility included the following six aspects of civic action: interpersonal and problem solving skills, political awareness, leadership skills, social justice attitudes, and diversity attitudes. Data were collected using pre- and post-intervention surveys, semi-structured individual interviews, and focus groups. The students who participated in service learning projects in their same racial community reported a statistically significant increase in their total amount of civic responsibility and in four out of the six civic skills and attitudes categories; civic action, political awareness, leadership skills, and social justice attitudes. In comparison the students who participated in service learning projects in mixed racial community only reported a statistically significant increase in two out of the six categories, civic action and diversity awareness, and did not report a statistically significant increase in their total amount of civic responsibility. Constant comparative thematic evaluation revealed four emergent themes for students engaged in service learning in their own racial community: (1) a strong sense of civic action and a devotion to taking personal responsibility for what happens within their own community and the community they served during their service learning projects; (2) a heightened political awareness and a desire to be politically engaged in the future; (3) an increase in their leadership skills; and (4) a keen motivation toward social justice and a desire to devote themselves to combating injustices within the systems. ^ *For this study the use of Latino encompasses the terms Hispanic, Mexican-American, Chicano and is inclusive of gender.^

Subject Area

African American Studies|Black Studies|Education, Leadership|Hispanic American Studies|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

McCrillis, Randall R, "Civic responsibility development in African-American and Latino students: A mixed methods study to understand the effects of service" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3590322.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3590322

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