Community agencies in the area are being offered a free Web-based database designed by a Southeastern Louisiana University business instructor to link organizations with student groups willing to volunteer and faculty initiating service-learning projects.
The Community Development Collaboration Service was developed by Minh Huynh, associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, along with the assistance of several student assistants: MBA student Nilesh Chitrakar and computer science major Arjun Sharma, both of Hammond, and recent MBA graduate Oliver Escheverry of Katy, Texas.
Huynh said CDCS was developed from open source software. Its goal is to serve as a Web portal providing information on the resources and needs within the community. Nonprofit organizations can use it to create their Web presence, as well as to advertise their specific needs for students and organizations looking to volunteer their services.
He said the database is ideal for faculty who look for local organizations to serve as partners in service-learning projects in their classes.
“Students can also use it to seek needs within the community,” Huynh said. “This can help them in making choices about involvement in possible service-learning activities or civic engagement work tied to courses they may be taking.”
The Community Development Collaboration Service can be accessed at http://cob.cdcs.selu.edu/.
The required computer hardware and software and other information on setting up such as service was shared with other institutions participating in the University of Louisiana System’s recent Academic Summit held at McNeese State University in Lake Charles. In addition to Huynh’s work, several Southeastern students made oral and paper presentations at the conference, and others participated in a juried student art exhibit.
The summit, “Celebrating Excellence in Teaching,” showcased the high-caliber work taking place in the system’s nine regional institutions. Forty-four service-learning presenters discussed community impact projects in diverse areas such as robotics, pharmacy, computer information systems, music education and disaster preparedness. The activities culminated in a discussion of the UL System’s Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education, a new online publication for scholarly submissions.