CSLC Higher Ed Contact:
Cara DiEnno, Associate Director
Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning, University of Denver
Email Cara | 303.871.2158
What Does Service-Learning Look Like in a Higher Ed. Context?
A college course that includes service-learning is based in a reciprocal community partnership that values the community, faculty, and students as co-educators and co-generators of knowledge.
The service performed in the course addresses a real community-identified need.
The service ties back to course objectives and enhances student acquisition of course content.
Critical reflection occurs throughout the course. Critical reflection activities should:
- Clearly link the community based experience to the course content and learning objectives,
- Be structured in terms of descriptions, expectations, and the criteria for the assignment,
- Occur regularly through the semester,
- Allow for feedback and assessment by the instructor, and,
- Include the opportunity for students to explore, clarify, and alter their personal values.
Recognized as a high-impact educational practice by the American Association of Colleges & Universities, service-learning tangibly benefits students, faculty, and communities. For example:
- Service-learning positively impacts student ability to apply academic concepts to the “real world.”
- Service-learning positively impacts academic outcomes such as complexity of understanding, problem analysis, critical thinking, and cognitive development.
- Students who participate in service-learning are more likely to graduate.
- Faculty who use service-learning report both satisfaction with student learning and a commitment to research.
- Service-learning offers a venue to explore research opportunities.
- Service-learning increases the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Higher education institutions and communities report enhanced relations.
At A Glance: What We Know about the Effects of Service-Learning on College Students, Faculty, Institutions and Communities, 2001.