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Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement

What is Service Learning?

Service Learning:

The National Center for Service-Learning defines service-learning through three key characteristics:

1. Service-learning constitutes activity that is focused on meeting a human need in the community where that need has to do with the well-being of individuals and/or of the environment in which they live.
2. Key academic and/or civic objectives to be achieved through combining service with learning have been identified prior to the activity.
3. Opportunities for students to reflect on their experience and its connection to specific academic/civic objectives are incorporated into the activity.

Please visit the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse website for other definitions and characteristics of service-learning: http://www.servicelearning.org/

Community Engagement:

Community engagement can take many forms! At its core, community engagement involves faculty, students and community partners collaborating on projects that can address a range of social, economic, political and environmental factors and support opportunities to conduct research and learn.

Community engagement can:

  • confront critical issues in society and contribute to the public good
  • enhance scholarship, research and creative activity
  • supplement curriculum, teaching and learning
  • prepare students to be informed and engaged citizens and leaders
  • strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility