Academic Service-Learning at CMU

What is Academic Service-Learning?

Academic Service-Learning is a form of experiential education in which students participate in meaningful service activities that meet identified community needs and are integrated with course student learning outcomes. This method of pedagogy holds both the service and the student learning as equally important components of the experience. Students reflect on the service activity to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.  

Service-learning helps integrate CMU’s student success and community engagement goals, especially our goals to:
  • Develop academic program opportunities that provide meaningful and distinctive educational and cultural experiences.
  • Encourage sustained community engagement in and across all disciplines.
  • Develop community-centered research and scholarship that creates knowledge through engaging with the community around relevant opportunities.
  • Foster a mindset of leadership and participation in community engagement.
    • Office of Community Engagement Vision Statement, 2019
For more information on the principles of service-learning, please visit our Academic Service-Learning Resources.

CMU’s Committee on Academic Service-Learning

The Committee on Academic Service-Learning (CASL) was created by the Academic Senate in 2010 and is charged to build a culture of support for the infusion of Academic Service-Learning that engages the CMU campus and community in the academic and civic education of all CMU students. 

As part of their mission to support service-learning, CASL approves courses for the Service-Learning (SL) designator.  The SL designator identifies a course as service-learning oriented both in the CMU Course Search and Registration system and on students’ official transcript.

Application for Course Designation

CMU has existing policies and procedures in place to ensure that every Service-Learning designated course provides exceptional quality to both students and the community partners. If you are interested in having your course designated as a Service-Learning course, please use the following application form, which includes CMU's current criteria and protocols, to get started.

This link provides you with a file that you can download and enter your necessary information into before submitting. 

These classes have at least one section that has been officially designated Service-Learning (SL) by the Committee on Academic Service Learning (CASL).

Certificate of Service-Learning Recognition

CMU is proud of our outstanding faculty and the Committee on Academic Service Learning (CASL) wishes to recognize those who facilitate meaningful service-learning course experiences for students. 


Applications are reviewed by the Committee on Academic Service Learning (CASL) monthly during the Fall and Spring semesters.  Approved applicants will receive a letter and a Certificate of Recognition, signed by the CASL Chair.