Val R. Christensen Service Center
Service-Learning is a credit bearing educational experience in which students:
- Meet community needs
- Reflect on service activities
- Gain a richer understanding of course content
- Earn an appreciation of a discipline
- Develop an enhanced sense of civic responsibility
Benefits of Service-Learning
- Develops deeper understanding of subject matter
- Fosters greater motivation to learn
- Promotes greater self-understanding
- Heightens awareness of community
- Integrates concepts from class into authentic issues
- Provides quality educational experiences in college
- Raises awareness of social issues
- Reduces negative stereotypes
- Increases tolerance for diversity
- Enhances interpersonal skills
- Improves leadership skills
Elements of Service Learning
- Meaningful Service: It’s important that the service-learning project meet a genuine need that is significant and recognized as important by both the participants and the community. The activity can include teaching others, creating a product or performance, providing a service, community-based research, or advocating for change.
- Connection to Learning: Effective service-learning establishes clear learning goals that require the application of concepts, content, and skills from the course and involves participants in the construction of their own knowledge.
- Reflection: Reflection is the term for the processing of these experiences. It can take many forms, including essays, discussions, journals, oral presentations, creating a portfolio or filming a video. When reflecting students should consider:
- What? What service did I perform?, What happened? What was learned?
- So What? What was the result or benefit of the service rendered?
- Now What? What will I do now? How can I continue to serve?