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Curricular Experiential Learning

Service-learning is a credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of the course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

Experiential learning can be integrated in all academic disciplines. As a teaching strategy, the experiential learning model provides opportunities to vary teaching methods along with new and exciting learning opportunities for students and faculty alike. For example, working collaboratively with community partners has potential for innovative community-based research.

Unlike extracurricular voluntary service, service-learning is a course-based service experience that produces the best outcomes when meaningful service activities are related to course material through reflection activities such as directed writings, small group discussions and class presentations. Unlike practicums and internships, the experiential activity in a service-learning course is not necessarily skills-based within the context of professional education (Bringle & Hatcher, 1996, p. 222).

Staff members at the Department of Career Development and Experiential Learning are here to work with faculty to integrate experiential service-learning into existing courses.

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Services may include:

  • initiating contact with community partners
  • conducting information sessions and workshops
  • designing project guides, forms and evaluations
  • providing resources on related topics
  • evaluation of initiatives.