International College has a rich history of a successful community service program, with many worthwhile activities taking place both on and off campus each year. Community Service at IC has been designed to foster in our students a spirit of responsibility, creativity, citizenship, and social responsibility and for them to serve as role models in a global society. The program is important to help students develop the values of integrity, service, and respect for individual differences. It offers students the opportunity to learn about and volunteer with different institutions and non-governmental organizations working in Lebanon. Program themes include the environment, health, human rights, individuals with disabilities, disadvantaged groups (street children, orphans, delinquent juveniles and refugees), libraries and literacy as well as awareness and support campaigns.
Students take part in the program as a requirement for promotion and ultimately for graduation from IC. The program focuses on capacity building and providing students with new skills that will enable them to understand the needs of society and plan small-scale community service projects (or even larger ones if they so dream to choose!) Workshops and projects enable students to acquire advanced knowledge and equip them with the skills to be active agents of change for issues such as drug and substance abuse, the environment, domestic violence, road safety and volunteering to name just a few. Students are encouraged to develop their own projects and participate beyond the required service hours. International competitions as well as international school partnerships allow for students to engage with global issues, typically linked to the UN Sustainable Development 2030 Goals.
In the secondary school, students in 5th/2nde are required to complete 30 hours, and students in 1ère/6th, 25 hours. Graduating students must complete a student-led class project that amounts for a minimum of 10 hours. The community service grade appears on grade reports, and students are required to submit a record sheet (provided at the beginning of the year) along with a reflection e-portfolio on the activities completed. Students are encouraged to design their own projects and participate beyond the required service hours.
CAS and Pre-CAS
Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) is an integral part of the IB Diploma Program (IB I and IB II), as well as Pre-CAS for the 5th College Preparatory Program class (5th CPP).
IC’s CAS program aims to develop students who:
- Enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences
- Purposefully reflect upon their experiences
- Identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth
- Explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles
- Actively participate in planned, sustained, and collaborative CAS projects
- Understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
Pre-CAS covers the same requirements as CAS with the exception of the CAS project.
Service Learning is a growing entity within IC and one which the Administration is wholly committed to. Indeed, the secondary school’s recent service learning trip to Laos, led by Director Bruce Knox, highlights just some of the exciting and worthwhile activities our student body are realizing around the world. The school is also a founding member of NESA’s latest collaborative group, for service learning and sustainability, whereby we play an active role assessing and providing professional development material for Administrators and Faculty across the NESA network of international schools.
In the Secondary School, Service Learning is a one-hour course taught to 6th and 7th CPP. It takes the form of project-based learning in which academic goals are accomplished through community service. Service Learning develops citizenship and good character, and provides a rich context for academic instruction and student learning.
The approach to teaching the Secondary course includes:
- Tutoring sessions in class (including group work, research assignment and group discussions)
- Site visits (including visiting refugees’ centers, recycling facilities, environmental projects and heritage sites)
- Inviting guest speakers
- Conducting interviews with social activists
- Implementing hands-on community development projects
- Development of raising awareness material that includes all knowledge and aspects of the project (including brochures, blogs and social media posts)