Faculty Overview of Service Learning

Service-Learning and course based community engagement are teaching strategies that integrate theory with relevant community service through carefully designed assignments and class discussions. While meeting identified community needs, students reflect on their service to increase their understanding of course content, gain a broader appreciation of a discipline, and enhance their sense of civic responsibility.

Modified from Boise State University Service-Learning Program, Boise, ID 83725


  • Psychology students tutor children at Head Start ... while thinking about Piaget.
  • History students tutor refugees in English... while thinking about historic immigrations.
  • Math students study the river flow while developing statistical analysis for the National Park

For a copy of the Faculty Toolkit Click Here

Service-Learning and Community Engagement Course Models

Service Learning


  • Number of service hours will vary according to course requirements
  • May be a required or optional course component
  • Journal connecting course theory and service
  • Reflection built into course
  • 22 hours or more meets the Core Intensive for Ethics, Values and Social Policy

What Resources are available

  • Professional Development support through annual service-learning workshop
  • Logistical support (contacting and orienting agencies, monitoring, record keeping, evaluation, etc.)
  • Sample syllabi and other discipline-specific resource material
  • One-on-one planning consultation

Community Engagement

  • May be required or optional course component
  • 8 - 22 hours of service over the semester
  • Class discussions or writing assignments relating service and course theory
  • Reflection built into course
  • 22 hours or more meets the Core Intensive for Ethics, Values and Social Policy

How do Faculty benefit?

  • More lively class discussions and increased student participation
  • Greater participant retention of course materials
  • Increased student and self-awareness of community and "real world" issues
  • More innovative approaches to classroom instruction
  • Enhanced opportunities for research and publication

Last Modified: 9/19/16