Service Learning

Service learning is curriculum based, providing ways for you to be actively involved in service that is integral to your learning. The goal of service learning is to enhance knowledge gain, engage critical thinking and reflection and promote concern for the common good. The focus of the service component is individuals and communities that represent the diversity inherent in the world.

Service learning is not only service to the community, but includes a learning component so that specific coursework is incorporated into the service and supplemented with ongoing reflection. The purpose of service learning is to give you the opportunity to apply your skills and coursework while providing a meaningful service to the local community and meeting course objectives.

Service learning is different from…

  • Volunteerism, where the primary emphasis is on the service being provided and the primary intended beneficiary is clearly the service recipient.
  • Community Service, where the primary focus is on the service being provided as well as the benefits the service activities have on the recipients. The students receive some benefits by learning more about how their service makes a difference.
  • Internships that engage students in service activities primarily for the purpose of providing students with hands-on experiences that enhance their learning or understanding of issues relevant to a particular area of study.
  • Field Education, which provides students with co-curricular service opportunities that are related, but not fully integrated, with their formal academic studies. Students perform the service as a part of a program that is designed primarily to enhance students’ understanding of a field of study, while also providing substantial emphasis on the service being provided.