Student Resources

The University of South Carolina Upstate is shaped and inspired by the City of Spartanburg. Our growing partnerships with our neighbors have the potential to enhance the quality of life and economic development of the community. If you have required volunteer hours for a class, organizational requirement or you’re just looking for a way to get more involved, the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement can help you get connected with the Spartanburg community and beyond.

Alternative Breaks

Click the Alternative Breaks button below to find out more information about how you can travel and make a difference over your fall, spring or summer breaks!

IMPACT

Click the IMPACT button below to find out more information about upcoming events and service projects that you can get involved in. IMPACT service projects and events are open to all USC Upstate students, faculty and staff.

60 Seconds of Service  
Do you have 60 seconds to make a difference? Join the Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement and the AmeriCorps VISTA as we offer monthly service projects that take only 60 seconds to complete. From making Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen to Blessing Bags for the homeless, there is something for everyone!

College Town Community Engagement
As part of the College Town Initiative in Spartanburg, USC Upstate, along with seven other colleges and universities, offers collaborative events for college students to give back to the Spartanburg community. 

To get involved with any of the programs listed above please contact the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement at 864-503-5433 or by email.

Service Learning Courses

Some service-learning partners may require background checks and/or finger printing. Faculty members will inform students of this requirement at the beginning of the semester.

Spring 2017 Courses

College of Arts and Sciences

ARTE 429: Elementary and Middle School Methods for Art Education
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: ARTE 330 and admission to the professional program
Faculty: Mary Lou Hightower

Instructional Strategies to construct appropriate curriculum for K-8 schools. Topics are artistic growth of children, responding to art works, studio production and classroom management. A portion of the course includes a 30 hour practicum component. Students in this course will partner with the Spartanburg Art Museum, District 7 schools, White Elephant Productions and the Bethlehem Center to develop content for the Video Village in the Highland neighborhood.  The exhibit aligns with Youth Art Month, and is inspired by the children’s book The Place I Live: Hub City Kids Write About Home (edited by John Lane and Betsy Wakefield Teter). 

ARTE 430: Secondary Methods for Art Education
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: ARTE 429 and admission to the professional program
Faculty: Mary Lou Hightower

Curriculum designs for secondary visual arts classroom. The development of instructional skills for various student populations included in the course of study as well as research and current initiatives. The course includes a 30 hour practicum component in the schools. Students in this course will partner with the Spartanburg Art Museum, District 7 schools, White Elephant Productions and the Bethlehem Center to develop content for the Video Village in the Highland neighborhood.  The exhibit aligns with Youth Art Month, and is inspired by the children’s book The Place I Live: Hub City Kids Write About Home (edited by John Lane and Betsy Wakefield Teter). 

ARTS 490: Senior Seminar Graphic Design
Open to all majors
Prerequisite: ARTS 315 and 9 credit hours from the ARTS unprofessional options courses or consent of instructor
Faculty: Bridget Kirkland

Portfolio finalization, preparation of student identity systems, oral presentations and exploration of current ethical and occupational issues. Students in this course will partner with local small businesses and non-profits to produce materials that meet the design needs of the client.

BIOL 330: Microbiology
Open to all majors 
Prerequisite: BIOL 301 and 302 
Faculty:  Ginny Webb

This course provides an introduction to bacteria, viruses and eukaryotic microbes. Emphasis is placed on molecular processes of microbes, genetics, metabolism, infection and immunity. Students will participate in service learning in this course by engaging with community partners and schools to teach others about microbes, infections and infection prevention measures (e.g. hand washing and vaccines).

BIOL 534: Animal Behavior
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: BIOL 301, BIOL 302 with a C or better and PSYC 101
Faculty: George Labanick

Identification and classification of behavior patterns exhibited by various species of animals; the development of behavior; proximate and ultimate cause of behavior. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory per week. Students in this course will partner with the Spartanburg Humane Society to provide care for the animals and prepare them for successful adoptions.

CAST 499: Child Advocacy (CAST) Internship (3 credits)
Open to all CAST minors  
Prerequisites: CAST 301, CAST, 401, CAST 402 and consent of instructor 
Faculty:   Jennifer Parker

This course provides supervised hands on learning and application of the prerequisite CAST courses in a community organization or agency that works with victims of child maltreatment and their families. Interns keep a journal and meet as a class and individually with the instructor to discuss the experience. At the conclusion of the semester, student interns present a power point presentation to the class. The Children’s Advocacy Center, Hope Center for Children, Solicitor’s Office, Guardian ad Litem and Children’s Hospital of Greenville are a partial list of internship placements.

ENGL 102: Composition II
Open to all majors  
Prerequisite: ENGL 101 
Registration information: Sections 13 and 16 
Faculty: Tasha Thomas

English 102 provides continued instruction in composition, building on skills introduced in English 101. Attention is given to writing for specific audiences, reading and analyzing challenging texts, and synthesizing academic sources in writing. In addition to traditional academic research, this course provides supervised hands on learning through community engagement. The service learning component of this course includes 15 hours of background research and volunteerism with a local non-profit organization. At the end of the course, students will present research and reflections from the internship in an academic paper and via a multi-media presentation. Community partners will include the Boys and Girls Club, St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, and Spartanburg Public Libraries.

ENGL 102: Composition II
Open to all majors  
Prerequisite: ENGL 101 
Registration information: Sections 37 and 39
Faculty: Melinda Beth Keefauver

English 102 provides continued instruction in composition, building on skills introduced in English 101. Attention is given to writing for specific audiences, reading and analyzing challenging texts, and synthesizing academic sources in writing. In addition to traditional academic research, this course provides supervised hands on learning through community engagement. Students registered for these sections will develop original content for a large-scale social media campaign centered on water quality in partnership with Upstate Forever.  

ENGL 371: Grant Writing
Open to all majors
Faculty: George Williams

Writing effective expository text for grants and proposals. The skill of writing for particular purpose and audience; conforming to stated guidelines; and using clear, concise language are emphasized. Students will develop real-life grant proposals for individually selected community partners in the Upstate region.  This course is an opportunity to build the capacity of local institutions while learning valuable and transferable skills.

ENGL 387: Global Existential Literature 
Open to all majors
Registration information: Cross-Listed with FREN 398 01 & AFAM 398 04 
Faculty: Araceli Hernández-Laroche

We will explore the powerful appeal of existentialist literature and thought for authors (and filmmakers) of different traditions, nations, religious backgrounds and mother tongues. Existentialism offered writers and artists from around the globe a language to evoke the absurdity of injustice, of a prison-like existence and all while rebelling against the indifference of their time. The question of perception and of being perceived through the paralyzing gaze of society is central. Jean-Paul Sartre’s call for a literature of political and social engagement resonated throughout the world during his time and beyond. GED tutoring of female or male inmates at the local detention center for award-winning “Operation Educate” program. Read more about this program.

ENGL 398: Service Learning through English as a Second Language
Open to all majors
Registration information: May be taken in conjunction with SPAN 250/350
Faculty: Dave Marlow

Participate in a transformational service-learning course involving teaching/tutoring ESOL to children or adults. Serve in the Upstate and (OPTIONALLY) in Palacagüina, Nicaragua over Spring Break. Those traveling to Nicaragua will work with school kids and on other projects as well. Course material will include both ESOL instruction and personal reflection.  Email instructor for details on the Nicaragua trip.

JOUR 428: Public Relations Campaigns
Open to all majors 
Prerequisite: JOUR 328 
Faculty:   David Wallace

This course will provide students with the opportunity to conduct secondary and primary research in the development of a public relations campaign for a local community partner. Students will develop a comprehensive public relations campaign proposal or plan and present that plan to the client. 

 

PSYC 398: Special Topics in Service-Learning
Open to all majors 
Prerequisite: minimum GPA of 3.0 or consent of instructor 
Faculty: Elizabeth Freeman

This course provides students an opportunity to employ psychological knowledge and principles of effective work performance behaviors through hands-on experiential service learning opportunities with various upstate community partners and businesses. The service learning experience may vary per work environment; however, all students are expected to evaluate their skill development and the competencies relevant to their experience, and present this to their peers. Through this collaboration with local community partner organizations, students will get to tie in their academic preparations with on-the-job work experiences while also demonstrating the value that USC Upstate’s students offer to businesses and the community as a whole.

PSCY 412 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 225
Faculty: James Bunde

The different approaches to counseling and psychotherapy with emphasis on both theory and technique. This course will partner with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to develop a state-wide resource guide for South Carolina families who are tragically affected by drunk drivers.  Students will also have the opportunity to learn more about (and potentially partner with) MADD’s Victim Services program.

SPAN 250 and 350: Selected Spanish Studies Abroad
Open to all majors
Prerequisites for SPAN 250: SPAN 102 or consent of instructor
Prerequisites for SPAN 350: SPAN 202 or 250 or consent of instructor
Registration information: May be taken in conjunction with ENGL 398
Faculty: Douglas Jackson

Development of advanced level communication skills together with immersion in the culture of a foreign country. Participate in a transformational service-learning course involving teaching/tutoring ESOL to children or adults. Serve in Palacagüina, Nicaragua over Spring Break.  Those traveling to Nicaragua will work with school kids and on other projects as well. Email faculty for details on the Nicaragua trip. 

SPCH 330: Interviewing
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: SPCH 201, 201R, or consent of instructor
Faculty: Carolyn Webber

Theoretical principles, techniques, ethical issues, and practical skills necessary for successful performance in professional and academic interviewing contexts. Interviewing contexts include employment searches and selection, information gathering, performance appraisals, counseling, health care and research. Students in this course will complete volunteer hours for individually-selected community organizations, and conduct a Life History interview of a person they meet during their service experience.

THEA 382: Theatre for Youth
Open to all majors 
Prerequisits: ENGL 102, THEA 170, or consent of instructor 
Registration information: Students who enroll in this course cannot take a Tuesday/Thursday course at 1:40. 
Faculty: Rich Robinson  

Creative drama methods for youth. Students learn to act in a published children’s play chosen annually by the instructor.  The play is performed at several local elementary schools during the second half of the semester, and is seen by over 3500 children, teachers and administrators. This year’s play is the South Carolina premier of Have You Filled a Bucket Today? It is based on the popular children’s book about respecting others with an anti-bullying message.

WGST 345: Girls Studies
Open to all majors 
Prerequisites: WGST 101 preferred (not required) 
Registration information: Instructor requests that students try not to enroll in classes directly before or after the course to allow to time to travel for community outreach. 
Faculty:  Lisa Johnson

Students are introduced to this academic subfield of Women's and Gender Studies, with readings on basic concepts in the field and more advanced analyses of girls as represented in the media and as impacted by girl empowerment programs. Students receive in-class training from employees of the nonprofit organization, Girl Scouts--Mountains to the Midlands, and are then assigned to outreach troops embedded in under-served elementary schools and other sites (e.g., Boys and Girls Club, DJJ). They meet with the troops once a week for ten weeks, delivering an anti-bullying curriculum developed by the national Girl Scouts organization, supervising arts/crafts activities and forming supportive relationships with girls age 5-16. Students keep reflective journals and write an analytical essay on the experience at the end of the semester, framing their hands-on experience with a scholarly context. 

 

George Dean Johnson School of Business

BADM 398: Topics in Metropolitan Business Studies
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: 54 credit hours earned and MGMT 371
Faculty: Brian Brady

Intensive study in contemporary areas of business such as corporate responsibility, cultural diversity and ethics. Topics are selected to meet current industry, faculty and student interests. Experiential learning is emphasized. Students in this course will collaborate with aspiring entrepreneurs and mentors participating in the Start ME: Spartanburg program, an exciting new small business accelerator program developed in partnership with the Northside Initiative. 

BADM 399: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program 
Open to all majors
Faculty: Michael Wooten

Students in this course will become IRS certified tax preparers following successful completion of the United Way of the Piedmont VITA training program.  Once certified, students will prepare federal and state income tax returns for Spartanburg residents meeting income qualifications. 

 

Honors Program

Honors 201: Self and Society
Open to all majors
Prerequisites:  Acceptance to the Honors Program or consent of the Honors Program Director
Faculty: George Williams

An interdisciplinary seminar centered on community, leadership, and societal problems solving through projects and community-based problem solving. Scholarly reflection on service projects and significant interactions with community leaders. The theme for the course this semester is Disability Studies.  Students will partner with local nonprofit organizations serving populations confronting a range of physical, developmental, psychological, and mental disabilities.  The volunteer experiences will serve an important community need while providing concrete examples while learning about the growing Disability Studies discipline.  

School of Education

EDFO 210: Foundations of Education
Open to all majors
Registration information: Sections 01, 02, and 03
Faculty: Rick Hartsell

The art and science of teaching. A comprehensive examination of the social, historical, and philosophical influences that have shaped educational policies and practices in the USA with special emphasis on legal and ethical aspects of education. Students in this course will have the opportunity to participate in Operation Educate.  Through an exciting partnership with Spartanburg Adult Education and the Spartanburg County Detention Center, students will serve as academic tutors for inmates preparing to complete the high school equivalency exam.  Read more about this program.

EDVI 706: Advanced Braille
Open to School of Education Graduate Students 
Prerequisite: EDVI 705: Literary Braille Code 
Faculty:   Tina Herzberg 

This course is designed to prepare individuals to transcribe a variety of instructional materials for K-12 students who read braille. Students will learn the Nemeth braille code used for mathematics and science materials as well as how to transcribe materials for students taking foreign language classes using a Perkins brailler and a computerized braille emulator. This course also includes instruction in creating tactile graphics, adapting materials for young and/or beginning braille readers, formatting braille materials, developing tactile skills, using a slate and stylus, and teaching the Nemeth Braille Code to students who are visually impaired. Through a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, graduate students will design and implement braille materials for beginning readers and older students transitioning from print to braille at the South Carolina Regional Braille Challenge in February. During the second half of the course, students will also create and implement lessons plans related to the Nemeth code and/or interpreting tactile graphics with K-12 students in a school district or the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind.

EXSC 459: Sports Nutrition
Open to all majors
Prerequisites: EXSC 301 and junior in standing
Faculty: Kelvin Wu

Impact of optional nutrition on exercise performance. Important topics include digestion, thermoregulation, metabolism, and fuel usage, sports supplements and weight control. Students in this course will partner with Spartanburg County School District 6 and the Dorman High School Athletic Department to develop individualized nutrition plans for local high school athletes.  The nutrition plans provide healthy and inexpensive eating recommendations that help athletes optimize their training, based upon their own personal goals.  This partnership further supports the school district’s new grant initiative creating awareness of eating disorders and healthy eating behaviors. 

Mary Black School of Nursing

The Mary Black School of Nursing has a wide variety of service-learning activities incorporated throughout the upper division curriculum. Every clinical course has an element of service-learning woven throughout their activities. The community and public health course specifically provides opportunities in Ecuador and South Africa where students are actively engaged in health promotion and education to communities in great need. In the same course faculty and students coordinate a community wide Teen Health Expo in Greenville targeting middle school students and a variety of health and safety issues facing that population. Contact your advisor for more details about service-learning classes offered through the Mary Black School of Nursing.

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Break
The Alternative Break (AB) program provides USC Upstate students with an opportunity to participate in volunteer and educational trips to culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged communities throughout the United States. Alternative Break groups travel to locations all across the United States. They provide service-learning opportunities working with important issues such as the environment, education, immigration, poverty and other unmet human needs. The AB program exposes students to communities and immersion experiences that cannot be replicated on the USC Upstate campus.

We currently offer Alternative Fall Break (AFB) and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips. Trips are open to all USC Upstate students and are student-led! For more information about the AB program and how to get involved, contact the Alternative Break Board at altbreak@uscupstate.edu.

IMPACT

IMPACT is the student-led service organization at the University of South Carolina Upstate. We connect students, faculty and staff to the Upstate community through monthly service projects and fundraisers that address local issues.

IMPACT offers the opportunity for its members to participate in direct service, explore diverse societal needs and develop leadership skills.

2016-2017 Executive Board

Janelle Berks, President 
Pasion Roach, Vice President for Membership 
Mylishia Blakely, Vice President for Operations 
Megan Clary, Intern

Fall 2017 

IMPACT has organized exciting new service opportunities for Fall 2017! Below is a list of dates for the service projects and member meetings. All projects and meetings are open to students, faculty and staff. We hope that you will join us this semester to serve our community!

August 26, 2017
Spartan Day of Service
TBD

August 31, 2017
Member Meeting 
4:30 p.m., Sparty’s Den 

September 2, 2017
Milliken Eye Opener Race 
6:15 a.m., Rampey Parking Lot
Breakfast Provided 

September 7, 2017
Member Meeting 
4:30 p.m., Sparty’s Den 

September 9, 2017
IMPACT Service Project
TBD

September 21, 2017
Member Meeting
4:30 p.m., Sparty's Den

September 23, 2017
IMPACT Service Project
TBD

October 5, 2017
Member Meeting 
4:30 p.m., Sparty’s Den  

October 7, 2017
IMPACT Service Project
TBD

OCTOBER 12, 2017
Member Meeting
Member Meeting 
4:30 p.m., Sparty’s Den 

October 19, 2017
IMPACT Alternative Fall Break
$50.00
TBD

October 28, 2017
Haunted Hallow Halloween Fundraiser
TBD 

November 2, 2017
Angel Tree Ceremony
12:00 p.m., CLC Lobby

November 4, 2017
Member Meeting 
4:30 p.m., Sparty’s Den 

November 16, 2017
Member Meeting
4:30 p.m., Sparty’s Den

November 18, 2017
IMPACT Service Project 
TBD

Member Appreciation Dinner
TBD

 

Fall 2016

This past fall, IMPACT served at a range of agencies in Spartanburg. Some of the service sites included: Hub City Farmer's Market Urban Farm, Eye Opener Cross-Country Race, Lake Bowen Sweep and The Haven Shelter: Homeless Shelter. In addition to these Saturday service events, IMPACT members hosted a Halloween Party to collect canned goods and raise money for the on-campus food pantry. IMPACT also hosted the annual Angel Tree event in which 75 children from Foster Care in Spartanburg were adopted by USC Upstate students, faculty and staff to buy holiday gifts. 

Get Involved

USC Upstate students, faculty and staff are invited to all IMPACT events. If you want to do more, help plan events. If there's a cause you are passionate about, consider becoming a project leader. 

For more information, contact Pasion Roach, VP for Membership, at impact@uscupstate.edu

Hunger and Homelessness Week: November 13-19, 2016

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (H&H week) is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This is a time to think about our blessings. It is also a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness and work toward a world where no one has to experience hunger and homelessness. H&H week offers the chance to contribute to a national social movement.

For more information about H&H week, please visit the National Coalition for the Homeless,http://nationalhomeless.org/about-us/projects/awareness-week/

Monday, November 14
Faces of Homelessness
Sansbury CLC Lobby 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Join the AmeriCorps VISTA program as we engage in an activity to emphasize that homelessness can happen to anyone. Answering the question what is homelessness?

The Danger of a Single Story
Tukey Theater, Doors open at 5:00 p.m., show starts at 5:30 p.m. 
Join the Campus Compact VISTA's of Spartanburg as we host an evening of dialogue around the single story of homelessness. We will first enjoy a Ted Talk by Chimamanda Adichie and then engage in a dialogue intended to broaden our understanding of homelessness. Join us for free food and deep conversation.

Tuesday, November 15
Faces of Homelessness
Sansbury CLC Lobby 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 17
Poverty Simulation
Converse College 7:00 p.m. 
Join USC Upstate, Wofford College and Converse College as they host a Poverty Simulation. Come experience what those living in poverty experience every day. Broaden your understanding of poverty and your empathy for others as we challenge ourselves to think about the faces of homelessness.

Friday 11/18
Faces of Homelessness
Sansbury CLC Lobby 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Hunger Banquet
Wofford College, Andrews Fields House 5:00 p.m. 
Join USC Upstate, Wofford College and Converse College as they host the Hunger Banquet. The purpose of this program is to educate participants on the global dynamics of food distribution and how they lead to hunger in different areas of the world. At this interactive event, the place you sit and the meal that you eat are determined by the luck of the draw. Like our real life, some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty.

For more information, please contact Charlie Lafer at vista1@uscupstate.edu or 864-503-7200. 

Do you want to get involved?

Please contact the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement at 864-503-5433 or email oslce@uscupstate.edu