Benefits of Service-Learning
Service-Learning not only fulfills the institution’s historic mission, but reinforces the concepts woven throughout the university’s strategic plan. Teaching and advising, research and scholarship, outreach, and the university community can all be enhanced through student and faculty involvement in community service-learning.
1. Service-Learning is practiced at over 1,000 universities and by over two million college students nationwide.
Students benefit through…
- hands-on use of skills and knowledge that increases relevance of academic skills
- accommodation of different learning styles
- interaction with people of diverse cultures and lifestyles
- increased sense of self-efficacy, analytical skills, and social development
- valuable and competitive career guidance and experience
- opportunities for meaningful involvement with the local community
- increased civic responsibility
- “It brings books to life and life to books.”
2. Service-learning has a positive effect on students:
- personal and interpersonal development
- leadership and communication skills
- reducing stereotypes and facilitating cultural & racial understanding
- sense of social responsibility and citizenship skills
- commitment to service
- academic learning
- ability to apply what they have learned in “the real world”
- career development
- relationships with faculty involved in service-learning
- satisfaction with college
- physical health (benefits of volunteering)
Adapted from CSU Service-Learning Faculty Manual, Fourth Edition; courtesy, The Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University
3. Service-Learning is part of a national movement in higher education to increase civic and political engagement.
See the national survey findings of civic engagement in U.S. research universities.
4. Service-Learning helps prepare students for the job market.
Seventy-three percent of employers would like to see “The ability to apply knowledge and skills to real-world settings through internships or other hands-on experiences” emphasized more in higher education. See the AACU survey of employers.