Service-Learning (SL) is a specific form of teaching and learning in which students engage in purposeful actions that address community goals. Through critical reflection students integrate the action with academic objectives to develop civic responsibility and social justice.
Service-Learning BenchmarksAdditional benchmarks of a service-learning course include:
- Action is linked to course objectives and community goals through direct, indirect or systemic efforts.
- Students receive orientation to the identified action and community setting.
- Reflection is integrated throughout the course.
- Student learning and community goal attainment are assessed.
- The course is grounded on theoretical foundations.
- The number of and distribution of action/service hours may vary by course objectives but should be integrated with the course curriculum to provide opportunities for personal and academic growth that is integrated with reflection and discussion within a range of 20 to 30 hours per semester.
Rubrics for Civic Engagement: The American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) has developed an excellent rubric (PDF) that can be used to assess learning outcomes as defined by the LEAD Initiative.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents — representing some 6 million students — dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement, and service-learning in higher education. Visit the Minnesota Affiliate page to learn more.
Campus Compact Syllabi: Over 300 service-learning syllabi spanning numerous disciplines, from institutions of higher education across the U.S. are available from Campus Compact.
Learn and Serve America’s National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (NSLC) is the most comprehensive service-learning resource in the U.S. The website contains timely information and relevant resources to support service-learning programs, practitioners, and researchers.
Since 1994, the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (MJCSL) has been the premiere national, peer-reviewed journal publishing articles written by faculty and service-learning educators on research, theory, pedagogy, and other issues related to academic (curriculum-based) service-learning in higher education.