Oklahoma Baptist University

Students Reach for Success through Service

People measure success in many ways. For some, success is directly proportionate to the total of their bank statement. For others, it's how many touchdowns they can score. On one fall day, however, success for several Oklahoma Baptist University students was measured in how they could help the Shawnee community.

Success 101 is a course at OBU designed to prepare students for the rest of their time on campus. The class focuses on practical aspects such as study habits and time management, as well as the opportunities and responsibility to be involved in both the OBU and Shawnee communities.

Putting what they learned into practice, students in all five sections of Success 101 met at Shawnee High School Saturday morning, Oct. 3, and worked under the supervision of Shawnee staff. They painted parking guard rails and performed a general clean-up of the building and the grounds. The project reinforced the class lesson of helping in the Shawnee community.

"While it is important that they learn the concept of being involved wherever they are, it is more important that they gain a sense of responsibility toward other people and/or other entities," said Dr. Pam Robinson, dean of OBU's College of Arts and Sciences.

"One of the topics in the course addresses involvement as it relates to personal responsibility," Robinson said. "Each class talked about both campus and community involvement and whether such involvement impacts a student's academic performance. We discussed whether community service is an obligation that those with the privilege of education should fulfill."

The goal of the project went beyond just getting a few guard rails painted or windows washed.

"The desired outcome was that the classes would feel a sense of responsibility toward those whom they served," Robinson said. "Most of the students left the experience feeling they had made a difference."

Dr. Kyle Tresch, dean of the Paul Dickinson School of Business, noted the value of teamwork in the project. With the participation of many students, he said, the group accomplished in a few hours what would have taken days, or even weeks, for workers at Shawnee High School to complete otherwise.

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