Students participating in this intensive service-learning opportunity will complete the equivalent of one academic course and will receive three credit hours. Students' time will be apportioned among rigorous academic work, community action projects, and life in an intentional learning community. For every hour spent in academic work, two hours will be spent in community action projects.
The academic portion of their experience will consist of three modules that are an extension of the Oikos Scholars Curriculum of Oklahoma City University: Creating a Just and Equitable Society; Shaping a Green, Sustainable Society; and, Building the Foundations for Peace.
Woven throughout these three modules and connecting them to the community action component are three methodological strands: intellectual methods (conceptual/cognitive), social methods (social analysis, participative planning, and organizing social transformation), and, methodologies of the interior life (journaling, meditation, etc.). The three academic modules, the three methodological strands and the community action projects constitute an integrated curriculum with a warp and weft character.
Action-reflection pedagogy integrates the academic curriculum with participants' community action experience. Community action assignments will offer an opportunity for practical engagement in one of the local program areas of the ICA-USA or involvement with another neighborhood-based local action agency.
Additionally, participants will have a rich experience of intentional community life. The community dimension of this program serves as the envelope in which academic inquiry and community engagement occur. Participants will experience themselves as a community of learners, eating, working and celebrating together.
The intensity of life in community will be balanced with time for solitary reflection and exploration. There will also be opportunity to experience Chicago's richly diverse neighborhoods, as well as its well-known cultural and artistic life.
This program will be most beneficial to third-year and beyond students. Participants will gain the most from the program if they are prepared to be challenged and have a degree of comfort with ambiguity, diversity and social critique.