What is Service-Learning?Campus Compact defines service-learning in the following way: “Service-learning incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community.”
We see service-learning as a win-win situation where the student meets a community need, and the community organizations build student knowledge that relates to course curriculum.
Service-learning encompasses three main components:
- Curricular connection
Mary completed her service-learning hours at Head Start.
Video by CCBC MD
Spotlight on Service-Learning CoursesProfessor Barbara Hill engages students during their last semester in the nursing program in service-learning to develop intercultural competence, which is an important skill in the field. Students select a nonprofit organization, and they commit 6 hours of service to this organization of their choice. (Teresa Gordon, the Assistant Service-Learning Coordinator, often helps students find sites that fit their interests and are related to the curricular requirements.)
After their service, students write what's called a "Community Assessment" answering:
- Who are the people that the community organization assists?
- What happened during your service experience?
- How has your perspective changed?
Professor Melissa Lane incorporates service-learning into her CRJU223 Juvenile Delinquency course. Her 20 students each completed 6 hours of service at the Police Athletic League (PAL), working in the youth prevention program. Students write a reflection paper and engage in two in-class reflections.
School of Math and Science Professor, Erica DiCara, engaged her Chemistry students in a service-learning project in which they planned and implemented a science fair for young children at the YMCA during National Chemistry Week. The children created static electricity with balloons and learned of the chemical composition of slime by making their own. CCBC students honed their skills in communicating complex chemistry concepts in language that was accessible to young people. Later, they reflected on their experiences in class through creating presentations.