Community Service Learning promotes student learning and development through participation in thoughtfully organized service experiences. These experiences are defined, planned, implemented, and coordinated collaboratively by students, the university, and the community. They reconcile community work with credit for students, offering them an opportunity to apply their education in service to the community. Engaging in community service learning helps students to develop lifelong social and professional skills, increases their understanding of a variety of issues such as diversity, ethics and social responsibility, and enhances their appreciation, understanding, and respect for others. Community service-learning draws on the knowledge and experience of staff and faculty members and encourages application of their research.
Community stakeholders are active participants in the process and contribute their knowledge and experience to enhance student and faculty learning while addressing their own interests and concerns. In this way, the three constituents (student, university, and community) are all equal partners who have a vested interest in and directly benefit from community service-learning. The CTL can help you to work through several design issues when you are planning to integrate community service learning into your course. For example, we encourage you to consider how the community service experience meets the learning objectives of your course, what kinds of experiences are best suited to your course, and how your students will demonstrate the learning they acquire through their community service.
For further information, please contact Matthew Ascah.