Resources for Assistance and Scholarship


Astin, Alexander W., and Linda J. Sax. "How Undergraduates are Affected by Service Participation." Journal of College Student Development, 1998: 251-62.

Astin, Alexander W., Lori J. Vogelgesang, Elain K. Ikeda, and Jennifer A. Yee. How Service Learning Affects Students. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, 2000.

Boyer, E. L. Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, N.J: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.

Bradley, James. “ A Model for Evaluating Student Learning in Academically Based Service,” Connecting Cognition and Action, Campus Compact, 1995.

Brigham, Erin M. See, Judge, Act: Catholic Social Teaching and Service Learning. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2013.

Bringle, Robert G., and Julie A. Hatcher. "Reflection: Bridging the Gap between Service and Learning." College Teaching, 1997: 153-58.

Brown, Lorrie, and Caroline Huck-Watson. "Indiana Campus Compact." Thoughtful Service: The Adapted Five Critical Elements. 2006. al_ElementsII.pdf (accessed May 5, 2014).

Carroll College Service Learning Handbook. Helena, MT: Carroll College, 2014.

Catholic Social Teaching Themes

Curry, Janel M., Gail Heffner, and David Warners. “ Environmental Service-Learning: Social Transformation through Caring for a Particular Place” from Michigan Journal of Service Learning, 2002.

Charter for Compassion Compassionate Cities Movement. Compassionate San Antonio, A Community Initiative to have San Antonio Recognized as a World-Class Compassionate City

Dewey, John. Experience and education. New York: Collier, 1938.

Ettling, Dorothy H., Kevin B. Vichcales. Reach Out Africa: Studies in Community Empowerment, Sustainable Development, and Cross-Cultural Engagement. Bloomington, IN: Archway Publishing, 2013.

Eyler, Janet, and Dwight E. Giles. Where's the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.

Eyler, Janet, Dwight E. Giles, and John Braxton. "The Impact of Service-Learning on College Students." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 1997: 5-15.

Fenzel, L. Mickey, and Mark Peyrot. "Comparing College Community Participation and Future Service Behaviors and Attitudes." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2005: 23-31.

Fox, Helen. Their Highest Vocation: Social Justice and the Millennial Generation. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.

Gallini, Sarah M., and Barbara E. Moely. "Service-Learning and Engagement, Academic Challenge, and Retention." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2003: 5- 14.

Gunst Heffner, Gail and Claudia Beversluis, Lantham, MD, ed. Commitment and Connection: Service-Learning and Christian Higher Education: Univ. of America, 2002.

Honnet, Ellen Porter, and Susan J. Poulsen. "Corporation for National & Community Service." Principles of Good Practice for Combining Service and Learning. 1996.

Howard, Jeffrey. "Community Service Learning in the Curriculum." In Praxis I: A Faculty Casebok on Community Service Learning, edited by Jeffrey Howard, 3-12. Ann Arbor: OCSL Press, 1993.

Incarnate Word Sisters’ International Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation “Sowing Seeds of Justice and Peace.”

Jacoby, Barbara. "Service-Learning in Today's Higher Education." In Service-Learning in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices, 3-25. San Francisco: Josey-Bass, 1996.

"Marquette University Service Learning Program." Program Overview. n.d.

McKenna, Maria W., and Elaine Rizzo. "Student Perceptions of the 'Learning' in Service Learning Courses." In Educating Students to Make a Difference: Community-Based Service-Learning, edited by Joseph R. Ferrari, and Judith G. Chapman, 111-23. Binghamton, NY: Haywort, 1999.

Misa, Kim, Jodi Anderson, and Erica Yamamura. The Lasting Impact of College on Young Adults' Civic and Political Engagement. Philadelphia, February 25, 2005.

Mitchell, Tania D. "Traditional vs. Critical Service-Learning: Engaging the Literature to Differentiate Two Models." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2008: 50- 65.

Newman, John Henry. The Idea of a University. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1891.

Pope Benedict XVI. Caritas in veritate. June 29, 2009.

Pope John XXIII. Mater et magistra. May 15, 1961.

"Service Learning." Code for Conduct. n.d.

Slattery, Sister Margaret Patrice. Promises to Keep: A History of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. San Antonio, TX: private printing, 1995.

The United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Van de Ven, Andrew H. Engaged Scholarship: A Guide for Organizational and Social Research: A Guide for Organizational and Social Research. Oxford University Press, 2007.

Wang, Yan, and Robert Rodgers. "Impact of Service-Learning and Social Justice Education on College Students’ Cognitive Development." NASPA Journal, 2006: 316-37.

Warners, David and Jeff Bouman “ Faith, Hope, and . Sustainability” from The Gospel and Culture Project, April 2009.

Centers with Examples

Boston College Volunteer and Service Learning Center encourages students to become involved in service in many ways included service they sponsor or campus organizations sponsor; in local organizations seeking assistance; in service learning classes in various disciplines; in service/immersion trips nationally and internationally; in advocacy for social change; and in post graduate volunteer programs.

Calvin University Service-Learning Center in Grand Rapids, MI, describes itself: “Serving to learn, learning to serve. Our mission is to engage and equip Calvin University students, faculty, staff, community partners, alumni and other friends of the college in and for the pursuit of God’s shalom in our learning together, primarily through community-based service-learning, social justice activity and civic participation in Grand Rapids and other partner communities.”

DePaul University Steans Center develops mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations to engage DePaul students in educational opportunities grounded in Vincentian values of respect for human dignity and the quest for social justice.

UC Berkeley Examples. In 1989 at UC Berkeley the faculty, who were socially conscious, adapted one required course for all undergraduate students which has continued and expanded, American Cultures (AC). It is the only course that all majors must take. “Courses meeting the AC requirement can be found in more than forty departments and programs... the requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.” The AC Center “welcomes opportunities to collaborate with campus academic partners, student based organizations and community partners. Such opportunities include the development of engaged scholarship programs.”

University of San Francisco McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good is dedicated to inspiring and preparing students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service and the common good. The McCarthy Center provides a forum for education, service and research in public policy-making and programs for the common good. It supports undergraduate and graduate academic programs, provides service learning, and government experiences for students and generates publishable research.

The University of Texas at San Antonio service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection in an academic course to enrich the student learning experience, instill a sense of civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Goals of Service Learning. Enhance academic learning. Develop character and citizenship skills. Learn about social issues impacting the local community. Deepen critical thinking and communication skills. Engage in meaningful service that has a mutually beneficial impact.

University of Washington. Service-learning refers to learning that actively involves students in a wide range of experiences, which often benefit others and the community, while also advancing the goals of a given curriculum. Community-based service activities are paired with structured preparation and student reflection. What is unique about service learning is that it offers direct application of theoretical models. Proponents of academic service learning feel that the real-world application of classroom knowledge in a community setting allows students to synthesize course material in more meaningful ways. Common goals achieved by service learning include: gaining a deeper understanding of the course/curricular content, a broader appreciation of the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

Vanderbilt University

  1. “Reflection is simply another word for learning.  What distinguishes it from some other forms of learning is that ‘reflection’ grows out of experience.”
  2. Through reflection students analyze concepts, evaluate experiences, and form opinions. Critical reflection provides students with the opportunity to examine and question their beliefs, opinions, and values. It involves observation, asking questions, and putting facts, ideas, and experiences together to derive new meaning and new knowledge.
  3. Reflection is a process designed to promote the examination and interpretation of experience and the promotion of cognitive learning. It is the process of looking back on the implications of actions taken - good and bad - determining what has been gained, lost, or achieved, and connecting these conclusions to future actions and larger societal contexts.
  4. Reflective thinking is not only an organic component in the learning cycle, it is simultaneously the very ground from which knowledge and belief spring.  Reflective thinking, in short, is both process and product.  As such, reflective thinking is key in experiential learning theory and the “operational linchpin” of service-learning pedagogy.
  1. links service objectives to the course objectives by integrating the service experience with course learning;
  2. is guided and purposeful;
  3. occurs regularly within the course;
  4. includes components that can be evaluated according to well-defined criteria;
  5. provides opportunities for both private and public reflection;
  6. fosters civic responsibility;
  7. Eyler, Giles and Schmiedes, A Practitioner’s Guide to Reflection in Service-Learning identify “The 4 Cs of Reflection”
  8. Continuous in time frame. an ongoing part of the learner’s education and service involvement, this allows students to formulate new ideas following Kolb’s Cycle of Learning
  9. Connected to the intellectual and academic needs of those involved. This is where the connection between real life experiences and course material are compared and become relevant.
  10. Challenging to assumptions and complacency. Reflection must challenge students and provoke thought in a more critical way.
  11. Contextualized in terms of design and setting. Faculty determine if the reflection is appropriate for the context of the service-learning experience, thus adding to the linkage between thinking about course content and actually applying it. 

Blinn College. Service Learning combines community service with classroom instruction or student club activities, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility to engage students. Service Learning programs involve students in activities that address local needs while developing their academic or professional skills and commitment to their community. Service Learning favors active and collaborative learning, rewards student effort and engagement, creates opportunities to know professors and faculty advisors better, and to experience possible work situations. In Service Learning, the student helps build a better community and the community helps the student be a better and more knowledgeable professional. For faculty, Service Learning is a rewarding opportunity to serve the student better, to grow as an instructor, and to be in touch with what is important for younger generations. In Service Learning we all gain.

Carnegie Mellon University. Do you want students to experience working on interesting, real-world problems? Or perhaps have opportunities to apply their disciplinary knowledge in new situations where they can help others? If so, then consider how you might use service-learning – which combines traditional educational outcomes for students with “service” opportunities in the community – to meet your learning objectives. Sometimes called community-based instruction, service-learning places equal emphasis on the service component of the experience and the learning outcomes for the student. The term is generally hyphenated to indicate this balance. Service-learning is a potentially rich educational experience, but without careful planning, students can wind up learning far less than we hope or internalizing exactly the opposite lessons we intend. For instance, if roles and expectations are not made clear, students may end up performing menial tasks, without achieving the learning goals for the course. Or they may have a bad experience and conclude, for example, that working in groups is difficult, public schools are dysfunctional, and that non-profit organizations can be chaotic places to work. In order to be successful, service-learning requires significant advance preparation and consideration of a number of special issues. But with thoughtful planning and deliberate execution, service-learning can foster positive relationships between the university and the larger community and provide meaningful educational experiences to students.

San Antonio College Service Learning. "Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities." On the SAC campus, we have several professors who integrate a service-learning component within their course. There are also opportunities for students to propose an extra credit service-learning project to their instructor.

National Youth Leadership Council

The Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism (CSLV) at Our Lady of the Lake University promotes student success and personal development by cultivating meaningful service opportunities between students, faculty, staff and the community. The CSLV coordinates academic service-learning classes, advises the vOLLUnteer Unity Council student organization and weekly service projects, offers community service student transcripts, and provides individual advising to connect students with meaningful service opportunities. The CSLV will track student service hours and those who complete 100 hours or more each year are nominated to receive the President's Volunteer Service Award. OLLU is also nationally recognized for service to the community by being named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Seattle Central College. Service–Learning is an educational approach in which the learner is directly in touch with the realities being studied, rather than simply reading about, hearing about or talking about these realities. Service-learning creates an unparalleled opportunity to explore and realize a high standard of academic achievement, intercultural empathy, and lifelong social action. By extending learning from the classroom to the community, students cultivate sustainable partnerships in their community that nurture civic responsibility and impact social issues.

Collin College. Research, critical reflection and effective service are the core components of Collin College's award winning Service Learning program. Service Learning engages students in valuable experiential learning through service opportunities that benefit the community.

Palomar College. Service Learning combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. Certain classes offer Service Learning as assignment option or extra credit. Students find a non-profit organization or public school to volunteer in and connect the experience they have to the course material in that class. Students typically write reflection papers or present to the class about their Service Learning experience. Service Learning is currently an option in many Child Development and Sociology classes, as well as select Psychology, Photography, Dance, Businesses, Economics, Speech, ASL, Nursing and Geology classes. Ask your professor if you can do a Service Learning project as part of your coursework or for extra credit!

Tennessee State University. Service is one of the TSU Core Values which also includes Excellence, Learning, Accountability, Integrity, Shared Governance, and Diversity. Our Mission Statement further underscores the University's commitment to service.  One of our five strategic goals is that of engagement - highlighting TSU's commitment to its service mission through engagement in community service, land-grant activities, and international education. The Center serves to connect students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners in developing service activities that are mutually beneficial to all. Service activities may be strictly volunteer community service, civic engagement activities, or service-learning. And what are the differences in "service"?

Texas A&M University Central Texas. A course-based, credit-bearing, educational experience in which students learn to relate theory to practice by participating in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and then by reflecting upon the service activity in such ways as to meet instructional objectives, and gain a broader appreciation for the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

University of Central Arkansas. According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, academic service-learning is a course-based teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Resources are available for students, faculty, and community partners in the menu above.

Middlesex Community College. According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, "Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities."

Whatcom Community College. WCC's Service-Learning Program builds bridges with our community through many pathways as part of our effort to fulfill the WCC Vision Statement. Many local leaders and organizations work alongside Whatcom Community College students, faculty, and staff to create enriching service-learning opportunities. Together we build meaningful, practical learning experiences, and a stronger community.

Eastern Florida State College. Service-Learning at Eastern Florida State College is a three-way partnership among students, faculty and community partners that enables students to earn course credit while gaining hands-on volunteer experience. The Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE) coordinates this invaluable program which has generated more than 3 million hours of community service since it started 30 years ago. Get started by exploring the options and links below.

Miracosta College. Service learning is a form of experiential education that partners academic instruction with community service. Students learn through participation in thoughtfully organized service activities that are course relevant and meet actual community needs. Each semester approximately 60 courses at MiraCosta College offer a service component either as an option or a requirement. Students are placed in non-profit organizations and public schools where they provide a variety of support services. These placements allow students to apply course theory in real world settings while making valuable community contributions. The Service Learning and Volunteer Center also houses an emergency food pantry, available to current MiraCosta students.

Northeastern University Center of Community Service. Service-Learning (S-L) is a form of experiential learning for students and a teaching tool for faculty that purposefully integrates academics and service or community-engaged projects to meet classroom and community goals throughout the semester. As part of their coursework, students partner with community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies as a way to learn the course material.

Wesleyan University. Service Learning (SL) integrates experiences outside the classroom with an academic curriculum taught within the classroom. As one form of experiential education, service learning seeks to broaden students’ understanding of course content through activities which are, at the same time, of service to the campus and/or surrounding community. Through structured reflection on their service, students are able to test and deepen their understanding of theoretical approaches in virtually any discipline.

University of Southern Maine. USM offers an increasing number of service-learning courses, in which students, faculty, and community organizations work together to address community-identified needs. Most disciplines offer this type of experiential learning course at some point in your studies. You can also seek them out as electives. Explore the list of Service-Learning Courses and register on MaineStreet. Service-learning combines academic instruction with a community service experience. In partnership with local organizations, students in service-learning courses apply the knowledge and analytical skills gained in the classroom to address social, environmental and cultural issues within the community. Students engage in service-learning both to expand their understanding of a subject and to benefit the community. Distinct from internships, service-learning is a classroom-linked exposure to careers and issues being addressed in the real world rather than a capstone experience at the end of your studies.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The Office of Service Learning promotes excellence in professional and personal character development through experiential learning opportunities that bridge the curriculum with community service.

The Ohio State University. Service-learning is a form of experiential education characterized by student participation in an organized service activity that: Is connected to specific learning outcomes and meets identified community needs. Provides structured time for student reflection and connection of the service experience to learning. The Office of Service-Learning supports development, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable service-learning courses and encourages community-based scholarship across the curricula of The Ohio State University to enhance student learning, develop student civic engagement, and foster ongoing collaboration with local and global communities.

Viterbo University. Service-learning is a method of teaching that consists of student participation in a service activity that meets an identified community need, has a connection to course content, and includes continuous reflection emphasizing the learning involved in the experience.

Fairfield University. The Office of Service Learning (OSL) is committed to solidarity and collaboration with people who are marginalized. We work to develop community partnerships that are based in mutuality and reciprocity. Through these partnerships, students engage in community service that includes substantial direct contact with low-income residents, social service agency clients, the elderly, public school students, or hospital/clinic patients. They serve as interns and consultants, and support personnel.

Columbus State Community College. Service-Learning classes include traditional in-class teaching as well as a meaningful community service project. Service-Learning classes provide hands-on learning and also demonstrate Columbus State's commitment to our community. Students in Service-Learning classes learn a lot about the community - and about themselves.

University of Nebraska Omaha. Service Learning is a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful, community-identified service. This form of engaged teaching and learning emphasizes critical thinking by using reflection to connect course context with real-world experiences. Service learning instructors partner with community organizations as co-teachers and encourage a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility for students while building capacity and contributing real community impact.

California State University. The Service Learning Institute (SLI) fosters and promotes social justice by connecting students, faculty, staff and the surrounding tri-county community.

University of Maryland School of Medicine. "The concept of “service” rests at the core of the medical profession, which aspires to train physicians committed to improving the health of the community and serving the public” (AAMC, 1998). Service Learning differs from community volunteer activities/outreach in two key ways. It represents a reciprocal interaction between the community and the learner tied to specific overall objectives as agreed to by both parties. Service learning offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the very complex causes of societal problems and their impact on individual/community health and patient care. It provides important supplemental resources for communities and its members, especially in those areas that are underserved and disadvantaged.

University of Maryland School of Medicine. "The concept of “service” rests at the core of the medical profession, which aspires to train physicians committed to improving the health of the community and serving the public” (AAMC, 1998). Service Learning differs from community volunteer activities/outreach in two key ways. It represents a reciprocal interaction between the community and the learner tied to specific overall objectives as agreed to by both parties. Service learning offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the very complex causes of societal problems and their impact on individual/community health and patient care. It provides important supplemental resources for communities and its members, especially in those areas that are underserved and disadvantaged.

Villanova University. What is Service Learning? Service Learning courses are three-credit courses which connect course objectives with opportunities to meet the needs of people in underserved communities or work with agencies which advocate for the poor and or care for the environment. Integration of theoretical knowledge and experiential learning in the community provides a context for critical and constructive thinking and action that promotes the common good.

Alvernia University. Service to others is deeply embedded in Alvernia University’s Franciscan heritage and remains an important part of our educational mission today. Our goal is to develop not just educated citizens, but engaged citizens actively involved in work to better their communities and the larger world.

We work to meet that goal in a variety of ways. As an Alvernia student, you'll have opportunities to get involved in service projects with our community-based partner organizations, which operate food banks, run mentoring programs, improve the environment, promote social justice, and support other important causes.

Alvernia embraces service learning for what it does for others and for what it can do for you as a student. Projects help you draw meaningful connections between classroom learning and the world beyond the campus. And most importantly, service learning will help you understand your role as a responsible citizen in a complex world.

Calvin College. The mission of the Service-Learning Center is to engage and equip Calvin College students, faculty, staff, community partners, alumni and other friends of the college in and for the pursuit of God's shalom. We do this by learning together, primarily through community-based service-learning, social justice activity, and civic participation in Grand Rapids and other partner communities. 

Faith-Justice Institute. Service-Learning is a form of experience-based education where students engage in service as part of their academic course work. It is believed that doing service work can help students better understand the abstract concepts presented in their classes. Likewise, the ideas learned in class can help students make sense of the human and social problems they encounter through their service work. A Service-Learning class combines academics with experience and reflection. Lectures, texts, and tests are enhanced by weekly service engaging schools and non-profit agencies that are making a difference in the Philadelphia area. Topics such as poverty, AIDS, violence, mental illness, and racism are explored both in the classroom and in the community.

Central Piedmont Community College Service Learning.

STEP 1: Make your community partner placement selection.

After carefully reviewing the online Community Partner Listing, choose an organization that fits both your interests and your course objectives.

Once you make a selection, get approval from your instructor that it will satisfy the Service-Learning requirements for your course

Contact the organization to inquire about service opportunities

Sites may fill up quickly, so contact the organization as soon as possible.

STEP 2: Complete the Confirmation Placement Form

You can fill this form out online and print it out, or you can print it out and write the information in by hand.

Print a copy for your instructor’s records.

Turn the completed confirmation placement form in to your instructor BEFORE YOU START YOUR SERVICE.

STEP 3: Print out your Service-Learning Student Timesheet and Student Evaluation for Service-Learning

STEP 4: Complete required service hours and classroom reflection activities

Record your time in and time out on your Service-Learning Student Timesheet. This must be signed by your site supervisor each time you serve at the organization!

Be sure you are respectful of any rules/regulations the organization may enforce.

Reflect on your experience with an activity guided by your instructor.

STEP 5: Complete the required Evaluation

We want your feedback regarding your service-learning experience!

Complete the required Evaluation Confirmation Page.

Print this page before you hit the submit button

You must click the submit button for the evaluation to be recorded!

STEP 6: At the conclusion of your service, please turn in the completed Service-Learning Student Timesheet, Student Evaluation for Service-Learning and the Evaluation Confirmation Page to your instructor.

Maricopa Community College. Service-Learning is a teaching and learning method that connects you to meaningful community service with academic learning through guided reflection.

Areas of focus include:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Values Clarification
  • Career Exploration
  • Social and Personal Development
  • Civic and Community Responsibility

Missouri State University. Community Learning Sites are crucial to the success of the Service-Learning program. Our students need experiential opportunities in their learning.

We value any opportunity to collaborate with community organizations committed to addressing social issues and see our partnerships as win-win situations.

California State University Channel Islands Service Learning. The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is the hub of curricular and co-curricular service-learning experiences at CSU Channel Islands, providing resources and support to faculty, community partner and students engaging in purposeful educational opportunities that serve the community. The CCE houses SERVE IT UP, a student-led signature service day program, and administrates the CSUCI Corps, a community service initiative that provides employment opportunities to community-minded students at area non-profits and schools.

CSUCI – Reflection. Reflection is a key component of service learning, and is that component which distinguishes service learning from volunteerism. Reflection provides faculty the means to assess the experiential learning that occurs when students participate in service activities outside the classroom. Reflection also allows students to synthesize the observed data gleaned from service activities and connect the new knowledge with the formal knowledge obtained from classroom activities and materials.

To reflect in service learning means to think critically about and analyze emotional responses to service activities in the context of course content and the learning objectives of a particular course or curriculum. It is important to incorporate structured reflection so that students develop a deeper understanding of course subject matter outside of the traditional classroom environment. Reflection can promote; interpersonal communication, problem solving skills, self-awareness, a sense of civic responsibility, and a sense of belonging.

Anne Arundel Community College. Service-learning helps students see the real-world application of course content. Students can participate in a wide variety of exciting hands-on service experiences that meet community needs. Service-learning is also a great way for students to get experience and enhance their résumé for transfer and jobs.

For more than 25 years the Center for Service Learning at Regis University has partnered with students, faculty and the community to educate, engage and connect with the public as positive agents of change for local and global justice. Our goal is for students to gain not only an understanding of their ability to impact their community and make a recognizable difference, but also of their responsibility to use their gifts and talents to contribute to a more just world.

Service Learning:

  • Mexico emersion trip
  • Project Homeless Connect
  • Arrupe Jesuit High School Health Trip
  • Wind River Immersion Trip

The Certificate in Service Learning (CSL) at the University of Kansas recognizes your experiences in utilizing your classroom skills to meet community-identified needs. Earning the certificate involves taking classes, engaging in volunteer work, and reflecting on your service learning experiences. Once you have earned the certificate, it is acknowledged on your official academic transcript.

The Purpose of Critical Reflection

Critical reflection is the key element of service learning that bridges in-class learning and service experiences. Through guided prompts, students can focus on objectives before, during, and after their service experiences, creating more intentional, guided learning.

A key aspect of reflective writing is that it is not a description paper. Rather, it should focus on how the student is making meaning of what happened. Find more information at Tips for Teaching Reflective Writing.

Goals of Reflection


Reflection should help students make a connection between their service experience and the academic concepts they have learned in the classroom. Reflection is a tool to help students develop critical thinking skills and improve on future performance by analyzing their experience.

Personal connection (affective)

Well-written prompts can help challenge students’ currently held beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, biases, privileges, prejudices, and stereotypes. Reflection activities provide opportunities for students make a connection between experience and their personal values, feelings, motives, desires, behaviors, and ability to create change.

Social Responsibility

Reflection activities provide space for students to consider and understand the complexity of their service experience and put it in a larger context. Well constructed prompts help them articulate how their discipline or what they learned in a course can be used to positively impact a community.

Elmhurst College. Elmhurst students find that serving the community also is an educational experience—one in which they learn about the world around them, their academic field and about themselves.

Please see below for Service Learning projects examples that can be implemented in your classroom and/or club or done as an individual project. This is by no means a complete list of projects so please feel free to think outside of the box and be creative.

Estrella Mountain Community College Service Learning Program

Loyola University Chicago – Resources on Reflection
Award-winning course design is no guarantee that students will actually learn from their service-learning or academic internship experiences. The meaning-making that is at the heart of student learning is conditional upon student's ability and willingness to reflect on their experiences. The following principles and resources can help to guide faculty members as they design reflective elements for their courses.

Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper

  1. Keep a Journal

The first step is for students to keep a journal during your experience. This is a popular technique for stimulating the reflective process. However, journals can turn into diaries – a list of “what I did today.” Use the guidelines below for specific reflection questions and assignments that can inspire deeper reflection and promote enhanced learning.

Sample Journal Guidelines: * Your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper will be a more formal example of your journal entries.

*Remember to ask your Instructor about their expectations for the Reflective Research Paper. Each instructor will provide specific Service-Learning requirements to dove-tail with their course.

  1. Map: This Will Help You Organize Your Thoughts

One useful way to link service to course concepts is to map concepts and applications to your course topics.

Review your journal. Then start with an element of your service such as a student you are mentoring, an individual you are interviewing, a client you are serving in some way. Write this element in the middle of a page and circle it. Think about the connections. Draw arrows to show other people, places, events, conditions that impact the initial element.

For Example:

A cultural anthropology student may be mentoring a child. The student might observe connections between the child’s ethnic, sociocultural and economic challenges and then reflect how those differences may be impacting the child’s school performance.

  1. Write Your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper*

The essay questions provided at the beginning of the project (in Journal Guidelines) and your journal entries will be used to create your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper. Your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper will be a more formal example of your journal entries. Your reflective paper should focus on personal development, academic connections, ideas and recommendations for future action.

*Get Help at The Writing Center

Do you need help getting started with your Service-Learning Reflective Research Paper?

The Writing Center can help you at any stage:  brainstorming content, organizing, fine-tuning word choices. Visit the Writing Center’s website: Sacramento City College Writing Center

As a Catholic and Marianist University, St. Mary’s is committed to providing students with experiential learning opportunities that inform their development of faith and vocation, their understanding of justice and the common good, and their journey to becoming leaders in our local, national and global communities.

Through involvement with ongoing local volunteer opportunities, service-learning classes, advocacy work, immersion experiences and civic leadership – all rooted in reflection and shaped by our Catholic identity – the Office of Civic Engagement at St. Mary's serves to connect our students to the world around them as they identify where their passions, skills and talents meet the world’s needs. Simultaneously, our office works to build and maintain healthy and mutually beneficial relationships with community partners, particularly those on the West Side of San Antonio.

We serve as the connector of our students and neighbors in a joint effort to learn from one another in a process of community growth and development, heeding Father Chaminade’s wisdom that “new times call for new methods,” and working together to discover our best possible response.