Service-Learning Overview

Academic Service-Learning

Academic Service-Learning is a pedagogy based on the principles of experiential education, which integrates community service with academic study. Faculty, in collaboration with representatives from community organizations, design service projects that enhance student learning and help meet community needs. Through structured reflection, students consider relationships between the service experience, the academic content of the class, and its impact on their personal values and professional goals. Learn more about Academic Service-Learning

A growing number of departments and programs currently utilize service-learning, some having sought the assistance of Community Engagement  in building community partnerships, while others developed projects independently.  Community Engagement works continuously to develop a comprehensive list of service-learning courses based on information by faculty members.

To be included on the list of available courses, faculty should e-mail Dr. Boyd.

Developing Service-Learning Courses

The effectiveness of Service-Learning as a teaching approach depends largely on the preparation phase. When designing the course, faculty need to consider several factors from preparation to implementation to evaluation. The following steps are recommended to ensure a successful experience to all constituents:

1. Explore how service-learning fits into your teaching philosophy
2. Determine how service-learning experiences may facilitate learning by drawing connections to course objectives and desired outcomes
3. Gather resources on community needs and ideas for potential projects
4. Identify community partners and build a collaborative relationship
5. Integrate information on service-learning into the course syllabus, review logistical details and make necessary arrangements
6. Plan how students will be oriented to service-learning
7. Decide on strategies to connect service to learning through reflection
8. Set-up evaluation procedures

For more information about course development, download the Service-Learning Faculty Guide.

What can Community Engagement do for you?

The Office for Community Engagement provides support to faculty interested in community service as a means to foster learning, growth and commitment to social justice.

Services available:

  • Links to community agencies and relevant needs in the community for teaching and/or research purposes
  • Support in building service-learning into existing courses, developing a new course or community-based research project
  • Presentations on service-related topics. Request a presentation: (Faculty) (Staff)
  • Assistance with reflection activities
  • Promotion of service-learning courses to TCU students
  • Evaluation of service-learning courses and initiatives in partnership with the Office for Assessment and Quality Enhancement
  • Updates on upcoming events, opportunities for professional development and workshops in partnership with Koehler Center For Instruction, Innovation & Engagement
  • Notification regarding awards and funding opportunities
  • Mini-grants for service-learning course development
  • Dissemination of outcomes from service-learning projects through poster sessions and publications
  • Resource library of service-learning books and journals
  • Coordination of a Faculty Steering Committee