Neighborhood Development is a service-learning course. Service learning joins community service with academic instruction, combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the tasks to reflection, self discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of knowledge, values and skills, with the aim that the experience will change both the student and the recipient of the service.
The community served by Neighborhood Development students is the University District. The University District Development Corporation (UDDC) has suggested various service projects to students. Service projects completed thus far include:
- a seller’s purchase agreement
- a buyer’s purchase agreement
- a city ordinance forbidding “boom” cars
- a model lease
- a brochure for first-time home buyers
Students present these projects to UDDC staff and board members, and to their classmates and other invited guests at the last class. The UDDC uses and/or makes available these documents.
In addition, students perform title searches and research various topics, and present these at the last class. Recent topics include “opt-in” restrictive covenants and a study of property attributes and sales in the University District.
Students work both individually and in groups to prepare their research and service projects, under the direction of Professors Lynn Foster and Cliff McKinney. Various guest lecturers have addressed the class, including land use attorney Steve Giles, Center for Arkansas Legal Services attorneys Lynn Pence and Laurie Mason, UDDC board member Joe Busby and others. Students visit meetings of the Fair Park and Broadmoor neighborhood associations, the UDDC, the Argenta CDC, the Little Rock Board of Directors, Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. They report back to the class and also keep a journal of their reflections, self discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of knowledge, values and skills.
Prerequisites: Students must have completed Property I and II and must be Rule XV certified.