Service-Learning is a teaching method that combines classroom learning and active learning to provide students with real-world experience and opportunities to connect those experiences with course topics through reflection and discussion. Students will often work together to solve problems or provide a needed service to the community using concepts from their coursework. Whether it’s an information technology course where students create a training program for a nonprofit agency, a secondary education course where students help adolescents make the transition to middle school or a sociology course examining community trends, service-learning provides reciprocal benefits to everyone involved.
Teams of students will work with a subject-matter expert and front-line professionals to develop realistic goals, objectives, assessments, evaluation tools and design the activities for learning. In this win-win situation students have learned their course content in a much more meaningful way and the community has been improved.
Service-Learning combines social learning, active learning, experiential learning and problem-based learning to provide students with a deeper understanding of course concepts and their potential applications.
“Being introduced to service-learning made all the difference in the world to me. I thought I was going to college just to get a better job, but the projects I participated in made the information in my textbooks come to life…it gave a more fulfilling sense of purpose to my education and a deeper understanding of the world around me. I am now fully aware of the power I have to help make a difference in the world through my education.” - CMU Student reflection