Experiential learning helps students by augmenting conceptual learning with real, hands-on educational experiences. The SLLC strives to promote experiential learning by providing students with classes, research opportunities, internships, and volunteer work in a number of fields related to agricultural and environmental sustainability, technological innovation, and community building. For example, Project Compost, a student run unit of ASUCD, provides paid, intern, and volunteer positions to students interested in learning about waste reduction and the composting process. The Student Farm is another component of the SLLC that utilizes experiential learning in its day to day operation through student volunteers, interns, staff, and visiting classes who are able to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the 7.5 acre organic farm. The concepts that students learn about in SLLC organizations have high applicability to many potential future jobs that may interest students. Often, these organizations may expose students to concepts they rarely receive any training in, such as scheduling, event planning, team/community dynamics, construction/prototyping, and networking. For many, these skills do not come intuitively and are often necessary in the majority of professional careers. The SLLC gives students the chance to learn these concepts through trial-and-error in a supportive environment.
To conclude, the experiential learning goals of SLLC are:
Provide physical spaces where students have the resources to engage in experiential learning.
Provide the financial resources to allow students, faculty, and staff to maintain organizations and infrastructure that offer experiential learning opportunities.
Promote the concept of experiential learning throughout the UC Davis campus in an effort to maximize student benefit.
Sustainability describes the intent to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The components of the SLLC strive to incorporate conventional and unconventional methods into their systems of operations in the interest of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. The D-Lab, for example, offers a two-quarter course that allows students from different academic backgrounds to address real-life issues related to energy security, environmental degradation, and public health concerns in the developing world. Within the class, students work for real-life clients whose problems they are trying to solve. This learning format offers students significant training in problem-solving issues related to sustainability. The Domes and TriCoop cooperative living arrangements offer students even more integrated lessons in environmental and social sustainability. Within these organizations, simple and incredibly rewarding life skills such as cooking, gardening, and healthy socializing are taught through the daily interactions that students engage in. Ultimately, the SLLC intends to continue providing comprehensive learning opportunities related to various aspects of sustainability, including those within the built and natural environment as well as those regarding human health and wellbeing.
To conclude, the sustainability goals of SLLC are:
Continue to sustainably manage the operation of SLLC organizations, as well as their relationship to the land where they are located and the general campus.
Offer students education and training in environmental and social sustainability skill sets.
Promote and participate in sustainable initiatives throughout UC Davis in order to maximize the sustainable operation of the campus as a whole.
In the context of the SLLC, community can be defined as the network of social relationships, events, and activities that exist between members of SLLC organizations. Within the SLLC, community is a shared set of common values and goals, such as as a commitment to understanding, fairness, respect, and support. SLLC components like the Domes/TriCoops cooperatives and EC Garden strive to uphold the foundations of what it means to be a community. The Domes and TriCoops were originally built with the intention of providing affordable and inclusive housing to students, and continue to operate as cooperative housing communities that promote core values of SLLC like inclusion, tolerance, and equity. Cooperative members form a support network of individuals for one another, and help socialize each other during daily interaction. Similarly, the EC Gardens provides Davis community members with the opportunity to cooperatively manage a patchwork of garden plots that support an array of edible and/or ornamental plants. The EC Gardens is just one example of how physical space in the SLLC brings people together under a common goal, and turns their collective efforts into an environmentally and socially beneficial organization. As such, SLLC remains committed to supporting community structures and activities at all levels of its organization, and hopes that it will continue to foster healthy and supportive social networks.
As such, the community goals of SLLC are:
Maintain communities within and between its component organizations by creating and/or strengthening individual relationships and synergies.
Promote the activities and events of SLLC components in order to increase awareness of the opportunities available within the SLLC
Continue to welcome and include any and all students, faculty, staff, or Davis community members who are interested in the mission and values of the SLLC.