Office of Service Learning
"If today's college graduates are to become positive forces in this world, they need not only to possess knowledge and intellectual capacities but also to see themselves as members of a community, as individuals with a responsibility to contribute to their communities. They must be willing to act for the common good and capable of doing so effectively."
—From Educating Citizens, Preparing America's Undergraduates for Lives of Moral and Civic Responsibility by Colby, Elrich, Beaumont and Stephens
Here at the Office of Service Learning we work to provide you with academic and co-curricular opportunities that connect you to the local community and the world through service. We aim to deepen and enhance your educational experience at Murray State University by helping you understand how you can contribute and make a real difference in the lives of others.
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" (2017-18, p. 51-52). 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).