Service Learning is when community service is integrated into the class curriculum with other academic course work. Service Learning is distinct from volunteerism as the experience is applied to the academic learning within the classroom and is considered an integral part of the coursework. Students take part in helping with the needs of the community and are provided with real world learning experiences and develop the skills necessary to work with diverse populations. Students apply the academic topics covered in the classroom to real world situations which encourages additional thought and evaluation skills, as well as serves the community’s various needs. In addition, Service Learning helps students to develop a sense of community and civic responsibility.
The purpose of developing a Service Learning wesbite is to inform, encourage, and assist faculty in integrating Service Learning into their courses. In addition, a primary goal is to provide a resource base for all students in these classes and those who are interested in serving their communities. Specifically, the website will provide resources for faculty that will build awareness and assist in getting started, implementing, and assessing Service Learning in academic courses. Written documentations, liability forms, and other necessary paperwork will be available through the Service Learning website. The future goal is to develop a Service Learning Program for the college and local community.
Student Service Learning Objectives
- Learn that you can make a difference.
- Take risks, leave your own “comfort zones,” and enter new domains.
- To achieve a greater understanding of the course content.
- Build your confidence level by successfully completing a service learning project.
- Learn new skills and gain leadership experience, which prepares you for your future career.
- Learn to solve problems, which will advantage you in the workplace.
- Increase your decision-making skills.
- Experience working in diverse situations.
- Grow as an individual through a sense of personal fulfillment, as well as grow intellectually and morally.
- Have an increased feeling of group responsibility.
Benefits to Community and Agencies
- Meeting community needs through student service to local agencies.
- Serving as a co-educator.
- Working with local community college to enhance critical thinking and civic education and responsibility.
- Building rapport and relationships for student retention to the site in the future.
- Assist in alleviating community social problems.