Service Learning in the Classroom

“In helping out with the Flint Water Crisis, I have learned a lot about my fellow community members. I have loved dedicating my time and happiness to deserving people.”

— Student

What are some ways to integrate Service Learning?

One-time group service projects

The entire class is involved in a one-time service project. Arrangements for service projects can be made in advance and included in the syllabus.

Option within a course

Students have the option to choose between the community-based project or another assignment. A portion of the normal coursework is substituted by the community-based component. The option can also be reflected as an “extra credit” opportunity.

Required within a course

All students are involved in community service as an integrated aspect of the course. This expectation must be clearly stated at the first class meeting and on the syllabus, with a clear rationale provided.

Action research projects

This type of project involves students in research within the community. The results of the research are communicated to the agency so that it can be used to address community needs.

Multiple course projects

Community engagement projects with one or more partners may span different courses in the same semester or multiple courses over a longer period of time.

Capstone courses

These courses seek to build upon students’ cumulative knowledge in a specific discipline and to demonstrate the integration of that knowledge with real life issues allowing students to develop professional contacts.

Campus based service

In lieu of working in the community, students engage in a project that serves the community while on the campus. There are a wide array of service opportunities through various disciplines that bring agencies or various groups to the campus or provide services through coursework.