Students used database management and software to benefit Elon community partners

Sections of Management Information Systems logged more than 1,100 service hours combined to create useful databases and websites for local nonprofit organizations.

Students in Intructor Allen's Management Information Systems course.
Students in Instructor Maureen Allen’s Management Information Systems course combined business database management and application software with service learning components.

Students in three sections of the course logged more than 1,100 service hours combined to create websites and databases for Elon community partners. Some of the organizations students worked with included United Way of Alamance County, Special Olympics of Burlington, the Women’s Resource Center, Campus Kitchen, Positive Attitude Youth Center and the YMCA.

Community partners came to the classes during the first week of the semester to discuss with students the needs of their organizations. Students were then asked to work in groups to complete their projects for the organization they chose to work with.

“Students not only complete a project for their course, but it is one that will be utilized daily by a nonprofit organization,” Allen said.

Each student was required to work at least 40 hours on their project and communicate with the organization about how to best meet their needs for a database or website. Students learned time-management skills and the motivation to work for more than just a good grade.

“Service learning pushes you; it asks you to work hard and it’s not for you. The benefit may be a good grade, but the true benefit is the change you are making for an organization in Alamance County,” said Taylor DeBlock ’16, who completed his project for Special Olympics of Burlington.