Service-learning is a philosophy of experiential learning integrated into and enhancing academic curriculum, in which students participate in community service not only to meet the needs of the community, but also to develop their critical thinking skills, commitment to values, and skills for effective leadership. (Mintz & Liu)
Service-learning, by its dual nature of mutual exchange, provides avenues for students to interact with external nonprofits and organizations, learn through experience, and bring those experiences back into the classroom for further academic enrichment, all the while fulfilling a need in the community.
As part of our urban mission, Warner Pacific affirms the importance of engaged learning and supports pedagogies that work towards our goal of preparing civic leaders who will transform society through acts of faith, scholarship and service. Towards this end, academic service-learning seeks to enrich course content and learning objectives while promoting increased self-awareness, greater personal efficacy, informed critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of societal responsibility, diversity, and the urban environment.
For faculty, the Service-Learning Office provides resources and support for the development of service-learning courses. The service-learning staff partners with faculty to create experiential, academic opportunities that benefit both the student and the surrounding community.
Interested in Creating a Service-Learning Course?
The Service-Learning Office has developed a process for faculty who wish to start on academic service-learning courses.
• First, read through the Academic Service Learning Manual to determine how Service-Learning will fit into your existing course.
• Complete the Course Information Form.
• Submit to the Course Information Form to the Service Learning Coordinator.
The Service Learning Coordinator will contact you to schedule a time to talk about how SL practices will compliment your course.
Process for Faculty to Create an Academic Service-Learning Course:
- Complete the Academic Service-Learning Course Information form. This form provides details to the Service-Learning Coordinator (SLC) in regard to course objectives and needs.
- Meet with the SLC to discuss your course and brainstorm possible placements, integration ideas, reflection activities, etc.
- The SLC will begin contacting interested agencies and communicating your needs with them.
- Once agencies have been contacted, you will receive an email from the SLC with a description of the agencies and service experiences, contact information and the number of students they can accommodate. The SLC will help you determine the best course partners.
- 2-3 weeks prior to the start of classes, the SLC will contact you to schedule a brief service-learning presentation, which provides general information, agency placement process and tips for successful SL experiences to your class. (This is an optional resource.)
- During the first week of classes, you will receive the Service-Learning Contract, to be signed by the student (once she has chosen or been assigned to their agency), the agency representative, and you.
7. The SLC will serve as a point of contact between your students and the agency should challenges arise.
8. You will receive an optional assessment and reflection resources, to be filled out by students and returned to the service-learning office.