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About Service-Learning


For more information about the benefits of service-learning, check out these sites:

About Service-Learning

What is Service-Learning?

Service-Learning is a credit-bearing form of experiential education. Service-Learning is a method of teaching that combines community-based learning with theory and practice. It is different from internships and work/study programs because the service is related to specific course content. Courses that include service-learning experiences engage students, faculty, and community members with value-added service that illustrates the intrinsic connection between academics, learning, and life. Service-Learning experiences are determined in partnership between faculty and community members designed to build upon assets and address mutually beneficial interests. Service-Learning brings together academics, appreciation, and application through organized written and oral reflections.

At Nazareth College we summarize the components of service-learning as the 6 R's (Watkins, 2012). These evidence-based practices include:

  • Rigorous and Relevant Learning
  • Responsible and Value-added Service
  • Reciprocity and Relationships
  • Reflection that is Embedded, Organized, and Intentional
  • Recognition and Celebration
  • Risk and Reality Assessment

 (Watkins, Ph.D., M., & Braun, L. (2005). Service-learning: From classroom to community to career. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Life.)

Descriptions Community Service Enhanced Academic Learning Purposeful Civic Learning
Volunteering or Community Service Yes No No
Co-Curricular Service-Learning Yes No Yes
Academic Service-Learning Yes Yes Yes
Internship Yes* Yes No

* Not all internships involve service in the community


You might also check out:

Introduction to the 5 R's of Service-Learning

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