This presentation will showcase the work of two service-learning classes at Louisiana State University during the plan application and capability assessment phase for the DRU plan of Louisiana State University. More often than not, a consulting firm develops the Disaster Resistant University plan. There are many reasons why this might be a good choice for universities with limited personnel, computing resources, skills, experience, and so forth. Whenever universities produce their Plan in-house, they commonly tend to assign responsibilities to university administrators as well as faculty and staff members from public safety, risk management, geography, sociology, and engineering to name a few. For the majority of out-sourced as well as in-house developed plans though, students tend to show limited engagement. The most common opportunities for interaction are public meetings, presentations, or the presence of student delegates at Plan committee meetings. Undoubtedly, students are an invaluable resource and asset to a plan. Not only do students have a different hazard awareness and preparedness behavior than most other university groups but they can also actively support the creation of the plan outside of the usual meetings and presentations. The most common route is obviously by working on the plan as research assistants. However, students can also contribute through course work particularly in the form of service-learning classes, which is presented here. In this case, students collected a multitude of data, designed and conducted surveys, and analyzed as well as presented their findings. These service-learning classes required students to directly apply their knowledge on hazard mitigation planning to a real-world problem, which facilitated their learning but at the same time also enhanced the quality of the plan.
Gall, Melanie, "Teaching Hazard Mitigation Planning through Learning Service" (2011). DRU Workshop 2011 Presentations - Disaster Resistant University Workshop: Building Partnerships in Mitigation. Paper 8.