POS 233
 Community Service Leadership Seminar

Gary Klass
Department of Politics and Government
Illinois State University

ISU\IWU Habitat Collegiate Homes LEED site

Fall, 20

The course is designed to engage its students in a meaningful set of community service activities that closely parallel many of the main tasks and functions of a community service organization: planning, community education, budgeting, volunteer recruitment and management, public relations and fundraising.  Working in conjunction with a local community service agency, teams of students will design and implement a coordinated series of projects related to the agency's primary service mission.

The course will serve a two-fold purpose of a) addressing community-based issues and needs and b) developing leadership, problem-solving and practical skills related to managing community service projects. To the extent that this course succeeds, it will demonstrate how effective organizational practices can make a substantive contribution to addressing human needs in our community.  The experience and skills gained in this course will benefit students who will pursue careers in the non-profit community service sector and to those who will participate as citizens in service to their community working with local community service agencies.

Course Objectives:

  • To develop an appreciation of social and civic responsibility.
  • To develop students' leadership skills.
  • To learn practical organizational skills associated with specific volunteer service agency functions.
  • To develop and apply skills in advocacy and problem solving.
  • To assess and strengthen self-awareness and personal skills related to service and leadership

Individual evaluation: Each student will prepare a community service evaluation portfolio that will be submitted on Wednesday of the 4th (initial), 8th (revised) and last (final) week of the semester.  These will be graded in oral interviews with the instructor.

The initial evaluation will include:

  • an overall statement of your goals for the course,
  • a listing of hours worked on the Community service project (below) and projects related to the collegiate home.
  • A summary of the current tasks and activities, including meetings attended a  nd persons contacted.
  • A list of any classes missed.
  • copies of any written work completed to that date (indicate whether it was done individually or as part of a group)
  • a listing of future activities and assignments to be completed.
  • a short summary of your overall evaluation of your work thus far.


Revised evaluation: This updates the initial evaluation.

Final evaluation: This includes updates of the initial and revised evaluation and a final reflection on your work and what you've learned throughout the course (at least five pages).

Standards for evaluation: Over the course of the semester your work ought to include most of the following:

a)    Assuming a leadership role on at least one part of the course projects.  This involves a) volunteering b) assuming responsibility for the completion of a major task, c) following through on your responsibilities.

b)    Communicating with out of class constituencies.

c)     Completing 40 hours of community service work on tasks related to the collegiate home (other than tasks in "a." above).  Essentially, these tasks involve "following" rather than "leading".  They would include: working on the Habitat construction site, working with the student habitat on their fundraising projects, doing work related to the course community service project

d)    Written work: each student should complete at least four pages of written work related to the LEED community education project.


2010 Community Service Project: The class will organize a major fundraising project to support the 2010-2011 ISU\IWU Collegiate Home Project.  The project will involve the following tasks:

  • Overall coordination
  • Event scheduling and facilities
  • Public Relations: on and off campus
  • Participant recruitment
    • Student groups
    • Off campus individuals
    • On campus individuals
    • Community sponsors: contacting organizations and local businesses

A small group of students will be assigned to be in charge of each of these tasks and will be assigned to prepare the following reports:

An initial plan: a summary of the goals and objectives and tasks to be completed.

(Probable due date: 3d week of the semester).

Final plan.  A revisions of the initial plan, a detailed list of the schedule of key tasks and team assignments.


Habitat\LEED Community Education Project: This project involves educating the community on the process, costs, and benefits of the key features of LEED certification employed in the construction of the ISU\IWU Habitat collegiate homes.  Students will prepare materials in the form of an internet website, a brochure, and\or a community forum describing the various components of LEED certification and how the Habitat homes meet the LEED standards.  Students will be assigned to research and prepare materials related to each of these components:

Site Selection --Location and Linkages. LEED encourages homes that are close to schools, shopping, work and transit, maximizing the quality of life and reducing the amount of time you waste in traffic.

Sustainable site. LEED homes avoid destructive construction practices and have landscaping and other elements that protect the land where the home sits.

Energy Efficiency. Based on average ENERGY STAR scores of LEED homes built so far, they have the potential to use 20-60% less energy, than homes built to the International Code Council’s standards for minimum energy efficiency. Less energy use means lower utility bills every month through the life of a house.

Indoor Environmental Quality. A LEED home is designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to toxins and pollutants.

Water Efficiency. LEED homes use innovative strategies to reduce a home’s water use and to find creative ways to reuse water.

Materials Selection. LEED homes use recycled, reclaimed and responsibly obtained materials everywhere possible.

Individual LEED Reports: Each student will complete at least one short report on one element of LEED energy and environment standards.  This may involve a report on:

Site location (and Linkages)

  • Transportation
  • In-fill
  • Access to services

Sustainable sites:

  • Lanscaping,
  • erosion control,
  • roof runoff

Water efficiency:

  • rainwater,
  • greywater,
  • indoor fixtures

Energy and atmosphere:

  • Energy-star insulation, windows and doors,
  • hot water distribution
  • light bulbs and
  • appliances
  • alternatives: solar power, geothermal

Materials and resources:

  • framing efficiencies,
  • construction waste,
  • environmental products

Indoor environmental quality:

  • radon protection,
  • low-VOC

Links to course related sites and readings:



Courses Resources:

Housing Policy and Affordability:

The Subprime Mess:

LEED Resources:


New Urbanism and SmartGrowth:

Location and Linkages:

Public Housing Vouchers

Gautreaux (powerpoint)

William Simpson,
A blueprint for `black flight'?

Solomon Moore As Program Moves Poor to Suburbs, Tensions Follow - NYTimes.com, August 8, 2008

Hanna Rosin, "American Murder Mystery" Atlantic Monthly, July\August, 2008

Mary Lynne Vellinga, "Natomas crime wave raises question about low-income housing," Sacramento Bee July 22, 2008

Xavier de Souza Briggs and Peter Dreier, "Memphis Murder Mystery? No, Just Mistaken Identity," Shelterforce, 7/22/08

Free Market Analysis of Housing Affordability:


Habitat Links