Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Say Yes to Education; Student volunteers' perspectives on their training specifically with mental health
Subject(s):Mental health
Sprign 2010
Abstract:Say Yes to Education is a national non for profit education foundation that was founded in 1987 by George Weiss. The mission of Say Yes is to increase high school and college graduation rates for the inner city children and adolescents throughout the nation. The foundation has several chapters one in Syracuse New York. The chapter strives to offer children in the program after school tutoring, summer programs, mentoring, school day intervention, family outreach, scholarships, social work assistance, psychological services, health care and legal assistance. The children can enroll in Say Yes as early as Kindergarten and the goal is for them to stay with Say Yes to graduate high school and if they do they receive a large scholarship to a list of participating universities and colleges. Hopefully the students who participate and benefit from Say Yes to Education will eventually give back to their communities. Say Yes employs not only professionals in education but also gives Syracuse University students the opportunity to volunteer in the after school program, and to be paid interns during the summer program. My project aims to understand the experience of the student volunteers and interns. Everything from how they initially head about Say Yes, why they chose to volunteer their time with Say Yes, to their personal perceptions of the program. I want to understand the training process they go through, and how much of the training includes a focus on mental health. My recommendations include how to improve the training process, with a focus on mental health education.
Issue Date:2010
Course / Semester:The Ethnography of the University: Studying Scholarship in Action was designed to introduce undergraduate students to ethnographic methodologies, institutional analysis, and the research publication process. Students conducted ethnographic studies of Syracuse University Scholarship in Action projects of their choosing and had the opportunity to produce their results on the web. All the steps in the research process, from the formation of research questions to the creation of final research papers, was produced on-line at a collaborative website, Moodle, that has been created at the University of Illinois to facilitate undergraduate ethnography of the university projects. This project is titled the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI).
Students were encouraged to make their work public so that their research subjects, fellow students and Syracuse community participants, would be able to comment and provide feedback on their research. The IDEALS on-line archive would enable this process to be recorded for future students in the hope that they will build on present student research. The archiving of “scholarship in action” research for ANT 300 may help Syracuse University better understands the learning outcomes of “scholarship in action” initiatives.
It is important to remember that “The Ethnography of the University” is not only a course but also part of two larger projects, the “Imagining America Project,” a national project combining the arts, humanities and social sciences to create interdisciplinary discussions about America’s future , and the University of Illinois centered project, the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI)
The Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) includes several universities and community colleges located in the state of Illinois. All of these schools are public. Syracuse University is the first non-Illinois and first private university to join the group. This class joined an inter-campus learning community in which many classes from several schools (most, however, are located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) explore their universities and colleges ethnographically. In order to explore Syracuse University ethnographically, we needed to think about what “the university” is, what “ethnography” is, and what “scholarship in action” is. Broadly, we explored the university as a composite of prose, numerical, and visual narratives.
The course also introduced students to ethnographic methods. The bulk of this class was devoted to students’ own ethnographic projects on a Syracuse University “Scholarship in Action” endeavor although it was possible to carry out research on other areas if students presented a good case for doing so. A wide variety of social practices and learning processes were expected to become part of what students researched.
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-06-01

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