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for community social change  
Why Service Learning?

(Some information below is drawn from the Learn and Serve Clearinghouse definitions page)

For students

For faculty

For college

For community


For students

•Students report positive, meaningful and real experiences

•Students have better retention and better grades in SL classes than in non SL sections of the same classes

•Students often report success in investigating or discovering career options

•Some students later get jobs or at least skills and recommendations from the agencies where they volunteer; most gain knowledge of themselves and their communities

•SL involves cooperative rather than competitive experiences, promoting invaluable workplace skills associated with teamwork, community involvement, citizenship

•Students address complex problems in complex settings rather than simplified problems in isolation

•Students engage in problem-solving, gaining knowledge of the specific context of their service-learning activity and community challenges, which brings to life “book learning.” As a result, service-learning offers powerful opportunities to acquire the habits of critical thinking; i.e. the ability to identify the most important questions or issues within a real-world situation

•Students report deeper learning because the results are immediate and uncontrived.

•Because of the immediacy of experience, service-learning is more likely to be personally meaningful to participants and to generate emotional consequences, to challenge values as well as ideas, and hence to support social, emotional and cognitive learning and development

•Many students report becoming Lifelong Service Learners

For faculty

•An exciting approach to scholarship that integrates community input and non-traditional scholarship into traditional classes

•A chance to actualize academic concepts in real world situations in ways that galvanize students

•Contacts with working professionals who become advisers, guest speakers, resources

•An opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams on local issues

•An opportunity to reach students with innovative alternative assignments

•Improved student performance

For college

•unparalleled, inexpensive, positive public image building

•a chance to cross the town-gown boundary by offering valuable student aid in the community

•extremely fundable grant partnership possibilities in largely Hispanic communities

•a means of providing “accountability” often demanded of higher education through community participation

For community

•Help in delivering and improving vital services and resources to needy populations

•Help doing projects that are important but would otherwise not get done

•Publicity for needs in community and of partner organization

•Address student and community misconceptions about at-risk, immigrant, and needy populations

•Expose students to needs in community and cultivate civic minded participation

•Encourage lifelong habit of civic participation

•Students will bring fresh perspectives and energies, and new ideas, to organizations