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Service-Learning: For Students

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. 

Service-Learning FAQs


What is the difference between service-learning and volunteering?

Like volunteering, service-learning is an unpaid activity that meets the needs of the community or individual. However, unlike volunteering, service-learning is connected to a course and intentionally connects service with academic course content. In order for service and learning to connect, purposeful reflection occurs. This could be through discussions, journals, or other activities that allow you to think deeply about your service experience and connect it to what you are learning in class.

How is service-learning different from other courses?

In traditional learning environments, instructors deliver course content through lectures, assignments, and tests. Service-learning incorporates an experiential component that complements traditional teaching methods and allows you to be actively engaged in your learning. The number of service hours you are asked to complete will vary by course. Additionally, the type of service experience you have will depend on the course objectives. You may directly serve at an agency, do research for a community partner, act as a consultant to solve a problem, or participate in a service-learning internship.

My professor assigned a service-learning project but I need to find my own agency. How do I do that?

If your professor assigned a certain number of service-learning hours, but it is up to you to determine which agency you want to work with, the Volunteer Network is available to help. Located in the Student Activities Office in the Memorial Union, the Volunteer Network has connections with local nonprofit agencies in the community and can help you find a project that not only meets the requirements for your course, but also your own interests. For more information, visit the Volunteer Network page and complete the Volunteer Intake form.

How do I continue service after my class has ended?

There are many opportunities to get involved in service throughout NDSU. You can find ongoing service opportunities through the Volunteer Network by subscribing on their ListServ as well as following them on Faceook to see what service events are coming up. Additionally, many student organizations, residence halls, athletic teams, and sororities/fraternities participate in service. Get involved and serve!

For more information contact:
Hailey Goplen
Assistant Director for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Administration Phone: +1 (701) 231-8241
Campus address: Memorial Union
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5340 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Memorial Union

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 1:40:36 PM