What is Community Service-Learning?
Community Service-Learning is a philosophy born out of Community Service. Both engage students in service to the community and contributes to the developments of students' service ethic. Yet Community Service-Learning makes an intentional effort made to utilize the community service experience as a learning resource.
"Service-Learning" is the combination of experiential education and community service. Service-Learning is specially designed (course, program, activity) demonstrating the process of learning through reflection.
Transforming Community Service into Community Service-Learning
The University of San Diego's Center for Community Service-Learning fosters the "Service-Learning Philosophy" with its Course-Based Service-Learning Program.
How can you get involved?
Take advantage of USD's Course-Based Service-Learning program offered by the Center for Community Service-Learning. The program provides a variety of assistance for integrating Community Service-Learning into the academic courses.
Why should you implement Course-Based Service-Learning into your course?
Faculty, students, and community members have positive, social, personal, and learning outcomes through course-based learning. Each factor is interrelated and interdependent with one another.
Service-learning plays a role in reducing students' preconceived notions of stereotypes perpetuated by society through classroom discussion. It also facilitates cultural understanding and sensitivity through its "real life" and interactive applications. Service-learning embraces a "Connected Knowing" paradigm where students look at what they are examining from the other person's shoes or point of view.
Students developement is shapred in regard to identity, spiritual growth, morality, and value system. It aids in having a strong sense of self. They learn their strengths and limitations.
Course-Based Service-Learning may increase academic rigor, by creating a synthesis of knowledge learned by merging service experience with the academic course. Reflection of the service experience conducted in the classroom positively impacts problem analysis and critical thinking skills.
Integrating Course-Based Service- Learning is Easy
The Center for Community Service-Learning provides the following assistance to ease the transition:
- Staff arranges appropriate service projects in the community, in consultation with faculty.
- A student leader may act as the manager and facilitator for their peers. The student serves as the liaison between the professor and Community Service-Learning staff.
- Further advising is offered via a trained faculty mentor for any unexpected questions.
*The most effective service adopts a long-term outlook. Thus, the Center for Community Service–Learning is more than willing to help in any way possible continuing through the years.