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Service Learning: Home

A research guide for service learning and community engagement.

Melissa Bowles-Terry, Head of Educational Initiatives

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Melissa Bowles-Terry


There are many benefits to incorporating service learning into your course. Service learning is a method of teaching and learning that enriches academic experiences and life-long learning by engaging students in meaningful hands-on service in the community. Key components to service learning include:

  • Connecting service with learning - academically rigorous, meaningful service with a significant positive impact upon those involved
  • Reflection - assessment of personal and community needs, reflection on participation, and evaluation of progress
  • Reciprocity - both the student and community partner give and receive time, energy, knowledge, and creativity
  • Critical thinking - involvement in situations conducive to creative, effective problem-solving
  • Social responsibility - expansion of student's compassion, civic awareness, and desire to be engaged in the community
  • Experiential learning- use of direct experience and hands-on learning to develop skills useful in future careers, family life, and community involvement
  • Needs-based - project based on community-identified needs 

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