Service-Learning: For Faculty
Service-learning is a form of experiential learning in which students engage in activities that address community needs and enhance learning objectives of a course. Intentional reflection is key to effective service-learning and helps connect course content and theory to the service project.
There are many benefits of service-learning for both the students, the community, and the faculty member teaching the course. Students are able to gain integral soft-skills such as improved interpersonal communication, greater critical thinking abilities, and a stronger sense of civic responsibility. Community partners are able to build a network of supporters and save valuable resources. Faculty members who integrate service-learning add new insights and dimensions to class discussions and engage students with different learning styles. Additionally, service-learning helps foster relationships between faculty and the surrounding community, which can open other opportunities for collaborative work in the future.
The Student Activities Office, located in the Memorial Union, has numerous resources available to faculty interested in either creating a service-learning class or integrating service-learning into an existing course. Professional staff is on hand to:
· Provide discipline-specific service-learning resources
· Identify community organizations relevant to the academic goals of your course
· Serve as a liaison to community partners and coordinate service-learning activities
· Offer assistance and support for developing service learning courses
· Recommend reflection activities and resources
· Support discussions in and out of the classroom
· Provide short presentations to classes about service-learning expectations and working with community partners
· Survey community partners to ensure needs are being met
· Maintain institutional records on service-learning activities
· Schedule guest lecturers from non-profit agencies
· Track service-learning hours to report for institutional research and grant opportunities
Additionally, the NDSU Faculty Service-Learning Handbook is available to help faculty become familiar with service-learning and to provide numerous tools to enhance service-learning courses.
Looking for service project ideas for your course? The Volunteer Network (VN) can assist you! Faculty can refer students to the VN, located in the Student Activities Office. VN student will work with students to find service opportunities relevant to the course objectives. Additionally, VN student staff can provide short presentations. For more information, please visit the Volunteer Network page.
For more information about service-learning at NDSU, please contact:
Assistant Director for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement