Students interested in Service Learning can start here to learn more about service learning and how to get involved. This is not, by far, the only resource we have available to students. If you are interested in reading or viewing material, please stop by any library on campus and request service learning material from the library staff.
What is Service Learning?
From a student’s perspective, to you, Service Learning is an opportunity to test-drive your career while meeting a specific need in the community related to your career choice. This means that, while you are working towards some goal at the community site, you should be gaining important skills and understandings that will help you in your career or classroom success.
How does Service Learning benefit you, the student?
- It increases your understanding of topics learned in class or textbook
- It gives you hands-on experience in your field of interest
- You can explore or solidify your values and beliefs
- It gives you the opportunity to act on your values and beliefs
- It gives you a chance to learn more about social issues and the underlying causes of these issues.
- You can grow your understanding of diverse cultures and communities.
- You can develop your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.(Often times, service learning requires you to be flexible in what methods you choose to complete the project.This leads you to formulating creative solutions, sometimes things you would never have thought, to answer a problem.)
- Improve your ability to handle ambiguity and be open to change (Something employers love: Flexibility!)
- It allows you to grow your professional network (This is one of the reasons why we encourage you to think of your service learning experience as a job. The connections you make at this site may very well help you to gain employment after graduation.)
What is expected of you, the student?
As mentioned previously, we expect our service learning students to be actively engaged, professional, punctual, and flexible before, during, and after their service learning experience. In many cases, it will be up to you to make the initial contact with an agency in the community to begin your project. Other times, the agency may come to your classroom. Each of our community partners are aware of the limitations you may have, but please, be upfront and honest with them. You will be responsible for setting your own schedule. Do not say ‘yes’ to something you’re unsure you will be able to complete.
Above all else, if you have questions, suggestions, comments, problems, or successes, tell us! Not just your site supervisor or your instructor: let the Service Learning Center know. We are here as a neutral party to help with the sometimes uncomfortable situations. We are here to share your successes. Don’t be shy. We want you to succeed and we will do what we can to help you do so!