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.
1997, LCC’s Service-Learning Collegium adopted the
following definition of Service-Learning at the college:
- Service-Learning engages students in guided
community service, application of skills and knowledge, and reflection
appropriate to the course or program.
- 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 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
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.
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
- 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
- Biochemistry students conduct seminars for teens
on the effects of substance abuse on the body.
from: Almonte Paul, Dorell, Hafflin et.al. Service Learning at Salt Lake
Community College, A Faculty Handbook