Six Types of Service-Learning (2024)

Most Service-learning courses fit into these categories…

1. Discipline-Based:

Students are expected to have a presence in the community throughout the semester and reflect on their experiences on a regular basis… using course content as a basis for their analysis and understanding.

2. Problem-Based (Project-Based):

Students (or teams of students) serve a community agency as “consultants” working for a “client”. Students work with community members to understand a particular problem or need.

3. Capstone:

Students draw upon the knowledge they have obtained thought their course work and combine it with relevant service work in the community.

4. Community-Based Action Research:

In this model, students work closely with faculty members to learn research methodology while serving as advocates for communities.

5. Pure SL:

These classes have as their intellectual core the idea of service to communities. They are not typically lodged in any one disciplines. The purpose it to prepare students for active and responsible community participation.

6. Service Internship:

Unlike most regular internships, SL internships have regular and on-ongoing reflective opportunities that help students analyze their new experiences using discipline-based theories.

Adapted from Hefferrnan, Kerissa. (2001). Implementation. In Fundamentals of Service Learning Course Construction. Providence: Campus Compact.

Six Types of Service-Learning (2024)
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