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The Academics of Community Service
A New Concept for Learning

Econ/Soc. Department Inventory of Papers from Statistic Classes 1915-1925. Click on image for larger view. Courtesy MHC Archives. (28)
Econ/Soc. Department Inventory of Papers from Statistic Classes 1926-1935. Click on image for larger view. Courtesy MHC Archives. .(28)

Community service as an academic principle: The above images reflect the efforts of the Economics and Sociology departments at Mount Holyoke College from 1915-1935. The papers were written, researched, and most importantly experienced by the students. The issues that were addressed were not only concerned with economics, but "real life" social conditions as well. The papers completed by the students ranges from a study intitled "Our Money: What We Do With It" to "Note on Disease and Occupation Data From 2204 Patients of the Massachusetts General Hospital"(28). These students put into practice the concepts and principles they had been learning throughout their tenure at Mount Holyoke. Surely, when Mary Lyon stated that her students should "“be willing to do anything, anywhere; be not hasty to decide that you have no physical or mental strength, no faith or hope”, these participating students proudly and passionately obliged.

The professor who made this all happen. According to information obtained through the Mount Holyoke College Archives, Professor Amy Hewes was the individual who initiated this academic practice. Under her direction, Ms. Hewes' students produced the above documents until 1943 when she retired from Mount Holyoke College. The class itself continued until 1956 putting into practice all of the principles that had been taught and ultimately produced a significant amount of research. The topics that these students chose to study reflect the significant changes that the outside world was experiencing. Would you like to see a full listing of the paper topics produced by these classes?

A Closer Look At The Papers: A study entitled: Children Leaving School for Work, Holyoke, MA, 1920 (29)from the above listing is an excellent example of the student's responding to the needs of the surrounding community as well as being sensitive to the current state of affairs in the U.S. The year 1920 would prove to be significant within the industrial Holyoke manufacturing community. The dynamics of families was changing and children were actively participating in employment alongside their families and friends. Ms. Hewes class, objectively looked at all of the factors that surrounded a child's decision to leave school and become part of the work force. This study was compiled at the request of the Massachusetts Child Labor Committee in response to the Federal "Stay-In-School" initiative. This experience for the participating students would ultimately give them an opportunity to actively partake in a Federal initiative and most importantly, recognize the importance of their efforts and accomplishments. Would you like to read some of the highlights of the study ?

Atlas Home Community Service Homepage Community Activities Community Based Learning Complete listing of papers by economic/statistics classes between 1915-1956

This page was created by Anjanette Kelso-Watson '04 in History 283, Fall Semester 2003 -