When seniors at Shortridge Magnet High School start work on their required Senior Service Learning Project, they—and their teachers—will be backed with help from several members of the Butler library faculty.
Under the leadership of Associate Dean of the Libraries Sally Neal, and with the support of Dean Julie Miller, members of the Butler libraries faculty designed and delivered customized workshops for Shortridge faculty, staff, and students to guide them through the research paper that is part of their service learning project.
On Jan. 10, the Butler library faculty provided a research skills workshop for the Shortridge faculty mentors who are shepherding the Shortridge students through this first-time project.
“The Butler librarians shared some of their best tips for helping students locate the resources they will need for their research,” Neal said.
Strategies shared included how to write a strong thesis statement; identifying terminology/keywords for searching; considering the types of information sources needed (primary, secondary); identifying the information tools available for searching; and, finally, database searching strategies.
On Jan. 17, the library faculty will present to the Shortridge students directly. The Shortridge students are at various points in the research process, so Butler librarians will present an overview on developing a strong thesis statement and good keywords. They will then work with the students in small groups based on where they are at in their research process.
“Working with the Shortridge seniors will provide us with the opportunity to learn where they are at in their information literacy/research skill learning and to share with them how building on these skills is necessary not only for college but for lifelong learning,” Neal said. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with students outside Butler who may become Butler students themselves!”
Butler University faculty collaborated with the Indianapolis Public Schools and community representatives to develop and open Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy in 2009. The school offers a rigorous Core 40 college preparatory curriculum for grades 6-12, engagement with social justice issues, and exploration of legal and public service careers.
Butler students and faculty work with Shortridge counterparts in mentoring and tutoring, curriculum planning, after-school programs, professional teacher development, and an Early College Program.
Butler faculty participating in this project with Neal include Sally Childs-Helton, Janice Gustaferro, Tim Hommey, and Teresa Willliams.
Julianne Miranda, director of Butler’s Center for Academic Technology, also is a partner in this venture. She will assist in devising ways in which Information Commons student staff might assist the Shortridge seniors in later stages of preparing their presentations.
The Senior Serving Learning Project is designed to be a culmination of the Shortridge students’ experience at the law and public policy magnet school. Seniors have the opportunity to work with a community organization that specializes in a particular area of law or public policy.
They’re required to complete 80 hours of service that focuses on legal or public policy issues. They then write and present their projects to a panel of judges. Their work is supposed to be at or near college level.