Dominican's Service-Learning Program Honored

Dominican’s Service-Learning Program was honored on September 10 by the Marin County Board of Education for its work with students in the Alternative Education Program at the Marin County Community School.

Julia Van der Ryn, director of Service-Learning, and students and faculty involved with the program was recognized for their collaboration with alternative education students.

Students enrolled at the Marin County Community School are those who have demonstrated the need for a small, highly supportive and closely supervised educational environment by their behavior and/or attendance.

“The Dominican program provides support and community to students who really benefit from the opportunity to build relationships with college students,” Van der Ryn said.

“Each year the program has grown as we show consistency and dedication to the school and earn the trust of students and teachers ... In many ways we are an integral part of their school. Teachers and students alike value our contributions and welcome our involvement.”

The program also has made a lasting impact on many students at Dominican.

“Our college students have such profound learning experiences that many of them remain committed to the school long after the service-learning class has ended," Van der Ryn said.

Dominican service-learning students provide academic mentoring in a structured program designed to raise self-esteem and confidence in Marin County Community School students. Since the Dominican/MCCS program began in 2007, almost 200 Dominican tutors have devoted some 3,809 hours working with MCCS students.

The County Community School Program is part of the Marin County Office of Education Alternative Education Programs. The Superintendent/Governing Board of the Marin County Office of Education established the program in 1982, at the request of local school districts. Each year approximately 160 students are referred to the program because of problems related to truancy, insubordination, or law violation.

For more information about Service-Learning at Dominican, please visit