Service Learning

Service Learning

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Service-learning courses incorporate an organized service activity in a credit-bearing course. The benefits of service-learning to students and to the community are widely acknowledged. At Eastern there are courses that incorporate service-learning each time they are taught and others that incorporate service-learning on an intermittent basis. Students seeking service-learning courses should contact the Center for Educational Excellence.

“Service learning is a credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. Unlike extracurricular voluntary service, service learning is a coursebased service experience that produces the best outcomes when meaningful service activities are related to course material through reflection activities such as directed writings, small group discussions, and class presentations. Unlike practica and internships, the experiential activity in a service learning course is not necessarily skill- based within the context of professional education. Service learning provides an additional means for reaching educational objectives, and academic credit is appropriate for service activities when learning objectives associated with the service are identified and evaluated. Faculty who use service learning discover that it brings new life to the classroom, enhances performance on traditional measures of learning, increases student interest in the subject, teaches new problem solving skills, and makes teaching more
enjoyable. In addition, service learning expands course objectives to include civic education.”

From Bringle, R. G. and Hatcher, J. A. (1996). Implementing service learning in higher education. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 67, No. 2 (March/ April 1996). Columbus: Ohio State University Press