4-15-2015: Ackerman honored for service learning

David Ackerman, a professor in the Building Construction Technology (BCT) department at Greenville Technical College, has been selected as recipient of the 2015 South Carolina Faculty Award for Service Learning from South Carolina Campus Compact. The award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to the integration of service learning into the curriculum.

Ackerman and his students work with ReWiGo Ministries to build wheelchair ramps that create safe home environments for the elderly and disabled. These ramp builds are completed once a month, and students manage all steps in the process from estimating the materials cost to completing the build.

BCT students and staff also partner with Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County. To date, they have assisted with the construction of nine affordable, energy efficient homes. This service provides an extensive real-life application of skills learned in the classroom.

Each spring, Ackerman and his BCT students also lead bluebird house builds with students from Greenville County Schools. This project gives the elementary and middle school students a chance to apply math skills to a real life project, and it allows the college students an opportunity to teach others. In 2014, the project reached even more elementary schools thanks to a new approach. Ackerman joined with the Greenville County Schools Virtual Science Instructor and the two taught virtually using videoconferencing. BCT students and instructors were on site at four participating elementary schools, helping 330 fifth grade students complete the project in one day.

Ackerman received an associate degree in occupational technologies from Greenville Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in applied management from Franklin University, and a master’s degree in business administration from North Greenville University. He has served on the faculty at Greenville Technical College since 2005.
South Carolina Campus Compact (SCCC) is a coalition of 17 South Carolina colleges and universities working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education. Through this work, SCCC improves the ability of higher education institutions to partner with their communities to collectively impact community needs and provide real world learning for college students.