What is service learning?
According to the Murray State University Academic Bulletin, "service learning uses experiential learning techniques to combine community service with specific learning objectives in a course" (2014-15, p. 64). Through service learning students perform meaningful service to the community while engaging in a study that is related to that service.
- Philosophically, service learning reflects the belief that education should be connected to values, character, and social responsibility.
- Students learn and develop through active participation in carefully organized service experiences that meet actual community needs and that are coordinated in collaboration with the school and the community.
- The instructional method is integrated into the academic curriculum and provides time for students to reflect on their activities through small group discussions, class activities, and journal writing.
- Students have opportunities to use newly acquired knowledge and skills in actual community situations.
- The lessons taught in the classroom and extended into the communities help students develop a sense of caring and responsibility for others (National Community Service Act, 1990).
For students to earn recognition as a Service Learning Scholar they need to complete twelve (12) hours of credit in Service Learning designated courses. Additionally, the student must have an overall GPA of 2.75 and a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the designated classes. This designation will be recognized on the student’s academic record.