Service Learning is an academic program that combines community service with classroom instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking, as well as a personal and civic responsibility. Various instructors offer service learning options in select courses, and students who enroll in the program then have an opportunity to take their classroom knowledge and/or technical skills into their community to work with service agencies, private non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, and schools. The service must be directly linked to course content.
Service Learning provides hands-on, practical experience and allows students to work with professionals at a variety of sites. This experience affords some career exploration while students become more aware of their community and its problems as well as ways to alleviate them. Service Learning emphasizes civic engagement, and, as students become involved with agencies and/or schools in their community, they realize the importance of giving back to the community through service. Since students receive credit for their service experience, each instructor incorporating service learning in a course may require a specific type of reflection activity: journals or logs, written or oral reports, group discussions—all based on the student’s service activities.
For more information, students should contact the Director of Advising and Retention Center at 256.549.8307.