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Service-learning benefits students by

  • Encouraging them to become more involved in their own education beyond reading a book, attending class, and taking a test
  • Increasing their awareness about their biases, prejudices, and stereotypes about others.
  • Providing hands-on practical experience at an off-campus setting that introduces them to a new environment to learn new skills and meet new people.
  • Providing an excellent resume builder and networking opportunity for career development and job hunting
(Watkins, Ph.D., M., & Braun, L. (2005). Service-learning: From classroom to community to career. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Life.)

A student who participated in a service-learning course had this to say about her experience:

"The service-learning course I took in Spring 2012, Spanish 314 (Border
Cultures), is one of the most memorable and impactful courses I have taken
in my college career.  In this course we learned about the relations
between the U.S. and Mexico; in the service-learning component of the
course our class was divided into groups and then connected with Mexican
migrant families in Rochester.  Throughout the semester, my group developed
a wonderful friendship with the family.  Both the family and the students
from Nazareth learned together.  We were able to assist them with their
English, and the family helped us with our Spanish and taught us many
important cultural lessons.

While the service-learning certainly enriched my knowledge of the
information we learned in class, I learned a great deal about myself as
well.  It is important for college students to have these kinds of
experiences because college life can be somewhat “sheltered.”  The
experience certainly brought me out of my comfort zone and gave me a lot of
confidence.  I worried prior to entering the service-learning experience,
however I found that I was able to effectively manage my concerns (of not
being fluent in Spanish enough, of not thinking that I could work with
someone on their English skills), and I realized that the skills that I am
learning at Nazareth can definitely be strongly utilized in “the real

The community developed through the class and the professors was also
really profound.  I would really like to thank Dr. Watkins and Dr. Chacón
for all their hard work in formulating the service-learning component to
Spanish 314!  It was an amazing experience!"

-Amelia Vangellow

For more information on SL Courses offered at Nazareth, click here.

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