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What is Service-Learning? (for community partners)

What is Service-Learning?

Service-Learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience by which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity on such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

National and Community Service Trust Act

Student volunteering at animal shelter with cat
Service-Learning students can serve in a variety of ways, from volunteering at an animal shelter to assisting with event planning

What Does Service-Learning Look Like for Community Organizations?

  • Service-learners come from all colleges and thirty departments.
  • The majority of service-learners serve with one partner for 15-20 hours per semester.

What Are the Essential Elements of a Service-Learning Partnership?

  • Students support your needs! Service-learning students come to your agencies through projects that you post using the service-learning database.
  • Students learn from you!  As a professional in the field you have an opportunity to mentor those that will work alongside and after you

What are some examples?

  • Social Work: Help a person in rehab find sober housing and access to community resources.
  • Biology: Help to educate cancer patients about their specific type of cancer.
  • Psychology: Engage with a senior citizen as a resident companion at a long term care facility.
  • Personal Health: Students help refugees learn English and nutrition.

Why Service-Learning?

  • Gain a continuous volunteer pool
  • Build relationships with potential employees
  • Tap into student idealism and enthusiasm
  • Grow your base of future community support

What Next?

  • Complete the Community Partner Inquiry Form and Service-Learning staff will contact you to discuss possible course partnerships based on agency needs.
  • Agencies new to the Service-Learning Program will receive helpful resources and advice to assist their growth as a student service site.

For information on Service-Learning Community Partnerships, please review the following:

The roles and responsibilities for the agency, the faculty, the student, and the Service-Learning staff.

Best Practices
Guidelines and ideas to help an agency become a great Service-Learning site.

Planning for Service-Learning
Tips for planning service-learning projects and working with students.