Service-Learning

Definition

Service-learning is a credit-bearing, educational experience that integrates meaningful community service with academic instruction and reflection to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Service-learning provides an opportunity for colleges and universities to enhance learning by engaging in activities that are driven by community needs. This high impact teaching pedagogy represents a necessary link in the application of theory to practice while establishing partnerships with local agencies, schools, non-profit organizations, and government.

Service-Learning at UNCG

UNCG promotes academic service-learning as a teaching method that links community action and academic study so that each strengthens the other. Students, faculty, and community partners collaborate to enable students to address community needs, initiate social change, build effective relationships, enhance academic skills and develop civic literacy. Service-learning done in this way encourages critical consideration of the ethical dimensions of community engagement.
Each semester at UNCG 30-50 designated service-learning courses are offered across a variety of majors. To designate a course with a service-learning marker, a faculty member must complete Form H provided by the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement, collect required signatures from their Department Head and Dean for approval, and submit a syllabus that meets service-learning standards.
Students that participate in service-learning courses complete 25 hours of service connected to their course content. They also participate in in-class activities and assignments that promote critical reflection related to their experiences in the community.

Research on Impact that Service-Learning has on College Students

Astin, A. W., & Sax, L. J. (1998). How undergraduates are affected by service participation. Journal of College Student Development, 39(3), 251-63.

Engberg, M., & Fox, K. (2011). Exploring the relationship between undergraduate service-learning experiences and global perspective-taking. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 48(1), 85-105.

Eyler, J. S., Giles D. E., Stenson C. M., & Gray, C.J. (2001). At a glance: What we know about the effects of service-learning on college students, faculty, institutions and communities, 1993-2000 (3rd ed.). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University.

Resources for Using Service-Learning Pedagogy

Campus Compact. Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit, 2nd ed. Providence, RI: Campus Compact, 2003.

Zlotkowski, Edward, ed. 2006. Service-Learning in the Disciplines. 21 vols. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Service-Learning Journals

The International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement
Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education
Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education
Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning
Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement