College courses include a number of different experiences that you, as students, outside of the traditional, including volunteering, field experiences, observing, student teaching, etc. One type of learning experience is academic service learning.

Benefits of Academic Service Learning

The ideal academic service learning project benefits all of the involved parties: students, faculty, the community and the university. The following is a brief list of possible benefits you may obtain from participation in a successful academic service learning project:

  • Enrichment of the course material, active learning that “demonstrates the relevance and importance of academic work for their life experience and career choices” (“Benefits of Service Learning,” n.d.), awareness of societal issues and how they relate to academic areas, improved critical thinking and interpersonal skills, broadened perspectives on diversity issues and development of civic responsibility.
  • Students have opportunities that accommodate different learning styles.
  • Students have opportunities for meaningful involvement with the local community.


Outcomes for Students Involved in Academic Service Learning

Personal Growth

• Increased self-esteem and confidence

• Increased personal responsibility

• Increased sense of personal worth

Career Development

• Active exploration of career interests

• Understanding of the work force

• Specific job skills

• Greater confidence in career choices

Social Development

• Improved interpersonal skills

• Increased tolerance/support for diversity

• Propensity to engage in other volunteer activities

Academic

• View service as a positive learning experience

• Strengthened persistence to graduate

• Improved problem solving/critical thinking skills