What is Service Learning?

Service Learning: Incorporates community work into curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit to the community.

Example:
Course Title: An Introduction to Mathematical Ideas

Project Assignment
Select a nonprofit service agency that requires statistical research for program evaluation, public needs assessment, or public relations and support. Assist the agency, based on its needs in developing a survey tool, organizing and/or conducting the survey, compiling and analyzing data, or some combination of these or some other statistical undertakings.

Community Service: Any type of volunteer work/service that provides a tangible benefit to the community.

Example:
Volunteer participation in a Clean Commission activity, where participants are responsible for picking up trash. (Incidentally, this activity could be incorporated in a service learning project, for example, where students would then analyze the trash for various reasons, and reflect on the impact of litter on the community).

Criteria for Service Learning

Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy through which students learn and develop by designing, organizing, implementing, and evaluating meaningful service experiences:

  • that meet actual community needs;
  • that are coordinated in collaboration with the university and community;
  • that are integrated into the students' academic curriculum;
  • that provide structured time for thinking about, writing about, analyzing, and discussing what is seen and done in the service learning process;
  • that enhance what is taught in the classroom by providing opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills in real life situations in their own communities;
  • that help foster the development of a sense of caring for others; and
  • that build a sense of social responsibility and civic understanding.
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