What is Service Learning?
Service learning is similar to volunteering in that students are giving of their time and skills to meet a community need through a project or report related to their course and/or career choice. The main differences are that they must be a part of a project that is meaningful and relative to their area of study; and that they must complete reflection activities. Service learning has three major aspects: reflection, civic responsibility, and community reciprocity. Service learning is meant to bring what students are learning in lecture to life by being an engaged citizen connected between classroom and the ‘real world’.
Service Learning at Gateway Technical College creates mutually beneficial partnerships among students, faculty, staff, and our community. Through active learning, meaningful service, and reflection, students develop deeper awareness of the diverse communities in which they live and the value of civic engagement among community members.
Through Gateway’s learning programs, individuals internalize the value of civic engagement and actively transform their communities.
Purpose of the Service Learning Center
The Service Learning Center is a liaison between the organization, students, and faculty. We provide support and guidance for any challenges that may arise. We also act as a third contact in case of difficulties, challenges, or other problems that may arise at the community site for both community partner and student. We provide classroom service learning orientations and reflection sessions as requested. We assist with placing students into organizations or finding projects to suit the student or course requirements. We also provide forms, instructions, resources, and materials that students, faculty, and the community partners may need/request for their service learning experience. Finally, we instruct faculty members how to incorporate service learning effectively into their existing course work.
In short, we are here to be as much or as little help as you need.