Experiential Learning

Service Learning

Our Goals

The goals of the Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement are to:

  • Support faculty in integrating service into their teaching and research;
  • Assist students in identifying appropriate service opportunities and support their development as community leaders;
  • Enhance University engagement in the community;
  • Serve as a clearinghouse of service opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

The University of Montevallo Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement was named to the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in the community.

What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is defined as a teaching and learning method that combines service objectives and learning objectives with a focus on promoting a deeper understanding of course content through real-world experiences that positively impact the community. These personal growth experiences provide an opportunity for critical, reflective thinking and for promoting a sense of civic responsibility. Service Learning courses provide a mechanism by which University students can meet academic objectives while addressing community needs and gaining practical experience in their fields of study. Benefits of student participation in Service Learning courses include the following:

  • Gaining a deeper understanding of course content
  • Developing collaboration and communication skills
  • Increasing awareness of social and community issues
  • Gaining experience in a specific field of study
  • Establishing professional contacts.
How you can get involved in community service and service learning:
  1. Register for a Service Learning Course
  2. Contact our office to identify service opportunities
  3. Apply to become a Falcon Scholar in Action
  4. Visit Hands on Birmingham
  5. Review our Community Partners List for volunteer sites.
  6. Visit our Facebook Page
  7. Check out the programs supported by our office
Students who demonstrate excellence in service receive a cord at graduation. Criteria for recognition include the following:
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75
  • One of the following:
    • 300 documented hours of service to the community
    • Completion of 4 service learning courses
    • 150 documented hours of service to the community and completion of 2 service learning courses.

Students who meet this criteria must submit the Honors Cord Request Form and documentation of service hours form to the Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement servicelearning@montevallo.edu at least one month prior to graduation.

Falcon Scholars In Action

Falcon Scholars in Action is a service learning program in which 25 UM students are selected each year to serve clients in agencies and programs throughout Shelby County. Students selected are provided with a significant annual stipend from Shelby County in exchange for their service. Examples of services provided include GED/ACT/SAT preparation, tutoring, coordinating physical activities, and providing training in job skills, computer skills, and social skills. All majors are eligible. Students are chosen through a highly competitive application process and will be enrolled in UM 222SL, which can be taken for variable credit ranging from 0–3 credit hours.