Service Learning Opportunities

Service Learning Opportunities

Service-learning is a teaching methodology that links community service and academic study so that each strengthens the other. The concept of service-learning is simple. Students provide a service to a community organization as part of an academic course. By combining classroom theories and lessons with real-life experiences, service-learning not only leads students to a greater understanding of the curriculum, but it helps them appreciate the value of civic engagement.

  • A successful service-learning experience includes the following:
  • The service must clearly be connected to the desired academic concepts.
  • The service must meet a genuine community need.

The reciprocal relationship between the college and the community organization must allow both parties to benefit from the experience.  Significant reflection on the experience by the student must be built into the service-learning process.

How Is Service-Learning Different from . . .

Community Service and Volunteerism?

Typically, community service and volunteerism have no specific learning objectives. While these activities frequently provide students with a great learning experience, they assume no measurable and definable academic goals. Every service-learning activity, on the other hand, has carefully spelled-out learning objectives.

Internships and Field Education?

Students who partake in internships and field education experiences apply what they have previously learned to real-world situations, focusing on professional preparation. Service objectives are not usually built into these types of opportunities. One of the primary components of service-learning, however, is a set of clearly defined service objectives. Civic engagement and the practice of citizenship are what distinguish service-learning from practical field experience.

Who Benefits from Service-Learning?

One of the key components of service-learning is that all of the parties involved must gain from the experience. If the service-learning project is properly structured and monitored, students, faculty, the college and the community will all profit from the experience. The following highlights some of the benefits:

Students

  • See true diversity, not just differences in skin color or in ethnic backgrounds.
  • Apply classroom concepts to the real world, giving his or her knowledge greater impact.
  • Learn about community needs and assets.
  • Learn how to become civically engaged.

Faculty

  • Use service-learning to give classroom learning real-world application.
  • Implement service-learning to encourage problem solving and creativity in course work.
  • Learn about community needs and assets.

Franklin College

  • Builds better Campus/community relations.
  • Meets the goal of its mission: “To prepare graduates for productive lives of excellence, leadership and service.”
  • Service-learning courses can be great recruitment and retention tools. Civically engaged students who feel they are connected to the community are more likely to remain a part of the campus and the community.

Community

  • Benefits from the energy, enthusiasm and outside perspective that students bring to the process.
  • Receives assistance/resources to tackle problems and projects that might not be otherwise addressed.
  • Learns more about access to Franklin College resources.