What is Service-Learning?
Service-learning is a learning experience that combines service with the community with structured preparation and reflection opportunities. Service opportunities are tied to academic coursework and address concerns that are identified and articulated by the community. As students engage in service-learning, they learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as community members.
- Find out what courses offer Service-Learning during the current and past quarters.
- Read the Carlson Center's Service-Learning Evaluation Report for 2010-2011.
What are the benefits of service-learning?
- First-hand experience with economic, social, cultural, and political contexts and factors that shape concepts addressed in course work.
- Greater depth of understanding by connecting course work to the issues and concerns in the community.
- Opportunities to learn from community leaders and practitioners.
- Opportunities to contribute to the mission and/or purpose of an organization through service.
- Understanding how the non-profit, government or educational sector functions.
How does service-learning work at the UW?
Each quarter, faculty and instructors from numerous disciplines across campus elect to integrate service-learning into their courses. Carlson Center staff work closely with course instructors to identify learning objectives for students while simultaneously working with community-based organizations to identify their volunteer and community needs and the educational opportunities they would like to offer for students. Courses and organizations are subsequently matched to meet both the learning objectives of the instructor and the community-identified needs and learning opportunities of the organization.
Service-learning has the following components:
- 20-40 hour minimum commitment for over the course of the 10 week quarter
- meeting the commitment students are making to the organization, and to thoughtfully integrating their experiences in the community with classroom work.
- the community-based organization provides a structured learning experience for the student
- the faculty member or instructor assists the students in thoughtfully integrating their community experiences into course assigments and discussions
- the quarter-long opportunity usually culminates in a reflective paper or related project, demonstrating the student's understanding of classroom theories applied to community involvement
How can I learn more?
Further information about service-learning is detailed for Students, Community Partners, Faculty and Instructors. Further questions? Contact us via e-mail or phone (206) 616-2885 and we will be happy to assist you!
Browse the service-learning courses that have been arranged with support from the Carlson Center since 2003.