WHAT IS SERVICE-LEARNING?

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  1. Introduction

  2. What is Service-Learning

  3. Benefits of Service-Learning

  4. What Service-Learning is Not

  5. Principles of Service-Learning

  6. Bringing Service and Learning Together (PDF file, click here to download Adobe® Acrobat Reader)

  7. Courses with a Service-Learning Component

  8. Examples of Service-Learning Classes

  9. Getting Started: Designing the Curriculum

  10. Service-Learning Development Worksheet

  11. Course Development Timeline

  12. Course Implementation Timeline

  13. Using Reflection

  14. Types of Journals

  15. Liability Issues

  16. Expectations and Responsibilities in Service-Learning

  17. Common Faculty Questions

  18. Top Ten Ways to Do More Service-Learning with Less Work

  19. Resources

 

 

Service-Learning is, essentially, a form of experiential learning where students integrate community service with the structured learning taking place in the classroom to enrich their learning of the course material.  In addition, Service-Learning helps students develop critical reflection, deepens their understanding of the complex causes of social problems, and enhances their skills in working collaboratively.

Service-Learning is more than just merely volunteering; it provides a level of critical thinking not obtained through regular volunteerism.  Since the service is academically anchored, it enhances what students are learning in a class and gives them an opportunity to actively reflect on what they are learning because of the experience.

In 1997, LCC’s Service-Learning Collegium adopted the following definition of Service-Learning at the college:

  1. Service-Learning engages students in guided community service, application of skills and knowledge, and reflection appropriate to the course or program.
  2. Service-Learning can enrich students’ education, increase their civic awareness, and enhance the quality of life of the entire community.

The following elements are found in Service-Learning Courses:

Service that complements the course or program content and learning goals, meets a community need, has adequate instructor supervision, and is appropriate to the context of students’ lives.

Planning and Preparation, when possible, should/can involve students in identifying the service, creating a time line, training, and orientation.

Reflection that challenges students to think about and beyond their assumptions.  Such reflection is facilitated by the instructor and can occur through discussion, reading, writing, and/or projects.

Recognition, formal and informal, as part of the course or program design, that acknowledges the value of student service.

The following examples speak to the kinds of integration and collaboration we regard as essential to Service-Learning education:

  • ESL students give lectures about their culture to local elementary schools.
  • Accounting students help community members fill out their tax forms.
  • Computer science students develop databases for non-profit agencies.
  • Biochemistry students conduct seminars for teens on the effects of substance abuse on the body.

Adapted from: Almonte Paul, Dorell, Hafflin et.al. Service Learning at Salt Lake Community College, A Faculty Handbook

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