Skip to Main Content

Service Learning: Home

Service Learning is...

Benefits and Components of Service Learning

There are many benefits to incorporating Service-Learning into your academic courses as Service-Learning is a method of teaching and learning that enriches academic experiences and life-long learning by engaging students and faculty/staff in meaningful hands-on services in the community.

Key components to Service-Learning include:


  • Connecting Service With Learning-Academically rigorous, meaningful service with a significant positive impact upon those involved.


  • Reflection- Assessment of personal and community needs, reflection on participation, and evaluation of progress.


  • Reciprocity-Both the student, faculty/staff and the community partner give and receive time, energy, knowledge and creativity.


  • Critical Thinking- Involvement in situations conducive to creative, effective problem-solving.


  • Social Responsibility-Expansion of student's, faculty/staff compassion, civic awareness, and desire to be engaged in the community.


  • Experiential Learning- Use of direct experience and hands-on learning to develop skills useful in future careers, family life, and community involvement.


  • Needs-Based- Project-based on community-identified needs.


*Content from Purdue University Libraries-2014


What is Academic Service Learning?

What it is...

  • A pedagogy
  • Enhances students understanding of the course learning goals
  • A form of experiential education
  • Meets community-identified needs
  • Allows students to apply what they are learning in class in the community and learn while they are serving
  • Focuses equally on learning and service
  • Reciprocal and it benefits both the student and the service recipient
  • Helps build partnerships between colleges and community-based organizations
  • A dynamic educational strategy that combines community service with classroom instruction.  Students learn civic responsibility and become active in their communities while applying what they have learned in real-world situations
  • A teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with instruction and reflection
  • Enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility and strenghtens communities
  • Links course content with community issues

What it isn't...

  • Internships, externships, clinicals, or field studied which focus on learning rather than service
  • Volunteerism which focuses on service and the service recipient but not on students and learning
  • Guest speakers, because the emphasis is on listening rather than doing and reflecting and then applying to what has been learned in class
  • Free or convenient labor
  • One-sided, benefitting only the students or the community
  • Work for pay
  • An "add-on"
  • A stand-alone, one-tme project that does not relate to the course learning goals


Jim Dan Hill Library-University of Wisconsin-Superior (2014)

Learn and Serve America

Library Hours

Monday - Friday: 8 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Sunday: 2 pm - 11 pm

Latest AACLU Report

Current News...

Loading ...