Service Learning Becomes Integral In Business Education

The changing education paradigm has made service learning a core learning initiative in business education. Taylor’s Business School has incorporated service learning in its curricular through community based projects to enhance students’ sense of civic responsibility and understand the relationship between theory, practise, values and community. These community based projects are designed to enable students to achieve specific learning outcomes while gaining a rich mastery of the business modules offered at Taylor’s Business School.

One of the projects that the Diploma in Business students embarked on recently was the set-up of a new library for the Lembah Subang flat community in Ara Damansara. The set-up of the library which was part of the Professional Development Week was aimed to provide a study area for students who will be sitting for the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.

“Participating and being a part of this project has opened my eyes to the challenges faced by the less fortunate and made me realise that I can do so much more for them. Through this project, my coursemates and I were able to understand the living condition and difficulties faced by the lower-income community particularly the Lembah Subang community. We learnt and understood the self-inadequacies by looking at the determination, willingness and positive thinking of the lower-income community,” shared Gina currently pursuing the Diploma in Business. 

She further added that the students will be able to contribute back to the community if only they were willing to spend some thought, time and energy with the less fortunate.

Within two weeks from September 17 to 29, 2013, the group of 35 students planned on how the project will be implemented, how and where to obtain books and materials for the set-up, and resources needed to sustain the library. As this is a long-term project, the students went beyond and prepared a detailed plan which includes structured reading programmes, conducting tuition classes and engagement activities for the community. In addition, the Lembah Subang flat community library also has a childrens’ play room which is equipped with fun educational tools. 

“Taylor’s Business School incorporates service learning in our curricular to develop and mould students to be socially responsible graduates who will someday give back to the community through the use of knowledge and skills gained at Taylor’s. We hope that such a project as this will rollover to more activities to create awareness on the importance of knowledge, joy of reading and the fun of learning in the future,” enthused Tan Wei Lian, lecturer of Taylor’s Business School.

The project which was implemented as part of the Strategic Management and International Business modules were conceptualised and implemented by students currently pursuing Semester 7 of the Diploma in Business programme. Supervised by lecturers, Tan Wei Lian and Ang Yen Yen, the project will be managed and maintained by the different batches of the Diploma in Business students.

Taylor’s Business School organises its Professional Development Week (PDW) as part of the co-curricular of the Diploma in Business (DIB) programme offered at Taylor’s Business School (TBS) to provide students with out of the classroom experience that will equip them with soft skills and competencies that may not be obtained from the normal classroom sessions. The PDW week is usually scheduled in the mid of the students’ 14 week semester and students are involved in all sorts of out of the class activities such as field trip, team building, workshop, aerobic session including service learning such as the Lembah Subang Library project of which students are expected to gain life-long learning skills.