Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

12/12/2011 -- CCAC students engage in service learning trip to Jamaica

For more information, contact CCAC Public Relations.

PITTSBURGH— Eight Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) students and their instructor recently had the opportunity to visit Petersfield, Jamaica, as part of an eight-week service learning class. Ethnic Relations: Service Learning in Jamaica was offered at CCAC–Allegheny Campus and taught by Barbara Evans, EdD, associate dean of Academic Affairs, CCAC–South Campus.

During the weeklong visit, students performed community service at the Association of Clubs (AOC), one of Amizade Global Service Learning’s community partners. Students were completely immersed into the lives and culture of the people in the rural community of Petersfield by living with host families.

As part of the community service, CCAC students revitalized one of the community parks by cleaning, painting and landscaping. Amizade donated computer equipment, which the students used to teach computer literacy to 15 parents. At the end of the trip a graduation ceremony was held for the 15 parents, who successfully completed the computer literacy training, at the newly revitalized park. Students gave school supplies to AOC for their program with young adults, also donated by Amizade. They observed two primary schools and distributed cameras as well.

“The service learning trip to Jamaica was awesome,” said Dr. Evans. “The students had a unique, transformative cultural experience that has taught them the true meaning of community and has impacted how they view themselves and the important role that service can play in their educational pursuits and leadership development.”

The host families prepared traditional Jamaican meals, which was a big part of the cultural experience. Since the visit took place during the Thanksgiving holiday, a feast for the students was prepared, despite the fact that Jamaicans do not celebrate Thanksgiving.

During the week of December 12 the “Jamaica: In Our Eyes” photo gallery and art sale will feature photos captured by Jamaican primary school students and CCAC students, at the Visual Arts Center, CCAC—Allegheny Campus on the North Shore. The gallery and sale will be open at the following times:

  • Monday, December 12, 2011, 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 15, 2011, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Friday, December 16, 2011, 12 p.m.

Dr. Evans, who is an Amizade board member, and the students formed a student organization, Service Organization Uniting Leaders (SOUL), to raise funds for the service-learning trip. Amizade is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that has been providing global service-learning opportunities for students and volunteers for 17 years.  

The Ethnic Relations: Service Learning in Jamaica course will be offered again in the Fall 2012 semester.

For more information about the course or the “Jamaica: In Our Eyes” photo gallery, contact Dr. Evans at 412.469.6227.


About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 170 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers non-credit and workforce development courses to 30,000 students. The learning-centered institution’s mission is to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to 520 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond. Visit to learn more.