Service Learning

Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.”
(The Carnegie Foundation)

Service learning projects are developed by connecting student learning objectives to an established community need with a community partner. As such, the resulting partnership is beneficial for all parties. The project activities and deliverables can vary widely as service learning can take on many forms. To learn more about Service Learning please take a look at the Prezi below.

 Characteristics of a Service Learning Course

1 – Collaborative partnerships consisting of the following aspects:

  • Need identification
  • Project development
  • Engagement in project
  • Evaluation of partnership and project and sharing of results with community partners
  • Willingness to share results

2 – Integration of course content (goals and objectives) to community focused projects

3 – Ongoing critical reflection/analysis

4 – Application of knowledge to relevant social justice issues



Students taking a sailing course at Avery Point campus.

Types of Service Learning

Direct: Students are in direct contact with people and/or organizations. For example, tutoring at the Boys and Girls Club.

Indirect: Students engage with a cause or a community need through means that does not involve having constant contact with beneficiaries. For example, market research, designing surveys, creating websites.

Civic Action or Advocacy: Students are provided with an opportunity to affect change in public policy. For example, presenting at a Town Safety Meeting, Legislative Public Hearing

Adapted from Furco, A. (1996). Service-learning: A balanced approach to experiential education. Expanding boundaries:  Service and Learning. Corporation for National Service.