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Service Learning

Service Learning in the Library


Why select Service Learning opportunity for your class

Campus Compact National  Center for Community Colleges defines Service Learning in the following way:  “Service Learning is a teaching method which combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service Learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community. ”

Student Service Learning is a valuable component of Civic Engagement

Student service learning is a valuable component of Civic Engagement where you can use experiential learning and reach academic understanding. As future teachers they will serve communities in numerous capacities. Therefore, your course will find it extremely beneficial for their  overall learning to incorporate a service learning component to your course.  

Research supports that service learning can help create a deeper understanding of material

Research supports that service learning can help create a deeper understanding of material because you can experience. Understanding the relationship between service and education is relevant to us as educators, once we engage in SSL opportunities, we can see the value in providing opportunities for your future students to serve others. The rewards for of service are numerous.  

Students that engage in service learning are actively learning problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, they are connecting theory (learning objectives) and real life experience, and help students foster a positive relationship in the community that they serve.  

How to complete hours

There are numerous opportunities to complete these hours.  In order to really fulfill the meaning of service learning, it is important that the student service be in an educational environment. They should be able to find the relationship between what their service experience, and the course content. 

First Steps to Service Learning

  • Meet with library Service Learning liaison to plan a service learning activity that addresses a community need.
  • See Past Programs tab for program ideas
  • Provide a statement in the syllabus informing students of the Service Learning project;

Example: “As a class, you will research a STEM topic and present a lesson to the community children in the library on  ________ (date). You will also help advertise the program and create STEM awareness to children between the ages of 3-12 years about_______. We will have a mandatory orientation for the project on ________ during class time.”

  • Set completion deadline at least two weeks before the end of the semester to allow time to report hours.
  • Promote your Service Learning project on the first day of class.
  • Plan an in-class orientation to explain the Service Learning project.
  • Track students’ progress and service hours.
  • Complete a reflection activity of the instructor’s choice, such as in-class presentations, reflective writings, in-class group discussion, or art work.
  • Please note: The reflection activity does not count towards Service Learning hours.
  • Prepare and send the Service Learning Reporting Form to report hours 2 weeks before final exams to