Thank you for your interest in Service-Learning (S-L). Please see below for information regarding course development and helpful resources to support your service-learning experience.
Service-Learning (S-L) is a common pedagogical strategy used to operationalize community based learning in curricular programs. “In these programs, field-based ‘experiential learning’ with community partners is an instructional strategy—and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life” (AAC&U).
In essence, service-learning is an intentional and collaborative pedagogical practice that engages students in structured service to address an identified community need and help them “gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility (Bringle and Hatcher, 1996, p.112).
Learn more about Kennesaw State's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): It's About Engagement
Teaching a Service-Learning Course
Interested in teaching a service-learning course? Review the USG service-learning handbook. Please contact William Hargrove with any additional questions regarding service-learning with the institution or resources available.USG Service-Learning Handbook Pedagogy
Best practices in service-learning include several important and related elements. Use this checklist to prepare your service-learning component.
- Does the service-learning experience directly address one or more learning objective(s) on your syllabus?
- Is the service-learning component clearly identified as such on the syllabus?
- Does the service-learning component have a grade point value in keeping with the time and energy required to complete it?
- Have you developed the project in concert with a local Community Partner?
- Will the students working on the project be meeting a real and identified community need?
- Have you considered and prepared for the logistics of the project; such as how students will schedule their service-work, what transportation will be required, what supplies they may need, background checks, timing, training, etc.?
- Do you have an alternative assignment prepared for students with disabilities or special circumstances?
- Have you set aside class time to prepare for the experience beforehand and to thoroughly explain your academic expectations?
- Will students be required to engage in some type of reflection (journal, class discussion, presentation, etc.) once they complete the service-learning project? Reflection activities must promote linkages between student experiences and the academic content of the course, and may also encourage students to identify and express any personal feelings and growth that may have occurred.
- Do you have a plan/rubric for assessing the learning that takes place as a result of the service-learning assignment? What assessment outcome will be a satisfactory result for this investment in time and energy?
If you answered "yes" to all the items above, you are ready to launch your service-learning component.
If you would like support developing your service-learning component, or your community relationships, please contact the Student Volunteerism and Service or Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL).
Forms and Templates
Here are some additional forms and templates helpful for S-L courses
Each KSU College has an assigned Liaison to provide support to instructors.
Please contact William Hargrove to be connected with your Liaison.