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How do I Integrate Service-Learning Into a Course?

Service-Learning Defined

“Service-learning combines community service with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in activities that address community-identified needs, while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community.” – American Association of Community Colleges

Service-learning is a pedagogy, an academic method of teaching and learning. Service-learning is not simply volunteering and it is not simply community service tacked on to the course as an afterthought. Service-learning is: Woven throughout course curriculum and course learning outcomes; designed to meet a community-identified need; and structured around assignments and activities created to foster critical thinking. In service-learning pedagogy, those structures are commonly referred to as critical reflection assignments.

Criteria for Integrating Service-Learning into Course Curricula

A cohort of SLCC faculty researched best practices and designed a common set of criteria for the designation of service-learning courses. This criteria is endorsed by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee, is specific to service-learning pedagogy and practices, and can be overlaid on any course in any discipline. Many programs are in partnership with the Faculty Teaching & Learning Center, the Center for Innovation, and Continuing Education, and range from peer mentoring programs to Service Learning 1000 courses.

For information about service-learning pedagogy, professional development opportunities, training, and technical support, visit the Service-Learning