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Service-Learning

What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning combines community service with academic course content and emphasizes critical reflection. Service learning is mutually beneficial, simultaneously enhancing the community through the service provided and functioning as a powerful learning tool with meaningful consequences for students. Students grow to view the community as an expanded classroom in which they apply knowledge in a real-world context, understand the complex nature of social problems, and examine their roles as citizens.

Benefits to Students

Service-learning has been show to have a positive effect on students in the following ways:

  • ability to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the "real world"
  • academic performance, retention, and rates of degree completion
  • demonstrated complexity of understanding, problem analysis, critical thinking, and cognitive development
  • personal development including personal identity, moral development, interpersonal development & the ability to work well with others
  • civic development including understanding of community needs and assets and inclination to be civically engaged in the future
  • reducing stereotypes and facilitating multicultural understanding

Sources: Astin & Sax, 1998; Eyler, Giles, & Braxton, 1997; Vogelgesang & Astin, 2000; Eyler, Root, & Giles, 1998; Roose et al, 1997

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