Andrews Research

Andrews Summer Service Learning Research

Support from Kathleen Andrews and Family provides an important foundation for the Center's research efforts, with a focus on examining the impact of summer service learning initiatives. Because of the inherent depth of learning involved, the Summer Service Learning Internships (SSPI) provide an excellent means to examine student development and change in relation to community-based experiences. Below are a few highlights from our ongoing research:

Measures and Cohort Assessment

Pre- and posttest measures have been developed and refined to examine the impact of summer service learning. Over 95% of the SSPI participants (since the 1997 cohort) have completed relevant measures. We now have a comprehensive set of data for ongoing analyses.

ND Student Life Survey

To compare SSPI participants and non-participants, and to examine Notre Dame students overall, we developed a extensive measure-known as the Notre Dame Student Life Survey to examine student attitudes with respect to service, justice, faith, and related issues. Nearly 700 students completed the initial survey (which was cosponsored by Student Government). Results of the survey provide context in various studies.

Alumni/ae Research

A central question in our work involves the potential long-term impact of summer service learning. Trey Hill, a graduate student in Psychology, worked with Jay Brandenberger of the Center to conduct follow-up interviews of students who participated during the summer of 1987. Results indicated that the SSP has a lasting positive effect in various domains. Contact the Center for further information. Similar analyses are planned.

Presentations and Publications of Andrews Research

Center faculty and staff have presented data from summer-service learning research at a variety of national conferences, including the Association for Moral Education and the American Association for Higher Education, and Andrews conferences on summer service learning hosted at Notre Dame.

In addition, three reports in the Center's ongoing Research Report Series highlight findings from Andrews Summer Service Learning Research: 

Report 1 Summer Service Learning Participation: 1980-1999

Report 3 Summer Service Learning—What Distinguishes Students Who Choose to Participate from Those Who Do Not? Part One: Religion, Parents, and Social Awareness

Report 4 Summer Service Learning—What Distinguishes Students Who Choose to Participate from Those Who Do Not? Part Two: Gender, Goals, and Influences on Spiritual and Educational Development