Helping the community. Learning from others. Understanding the impact of service organizations. If these things appeal to you, you can take the subject matter you're studying and use it to complete a structured service project to fulfill a community's needs.
The project might be big. It might be small. But, you and the community you are serving will be better because of it. More information about service learning can be obtained your advisor or through the Office of Experiential Opportunities and Post Graduate Success.
Benefits for students
• Engages active learning: the best way to learn is through active participation.
• Wider career options: explore the career possibilities of public service and non-profit institutions. Develop new networks, connections, friends, and mentors in places you never knew you would.
• Personal growth and development: one of the best ways to help yourself is to help someone else. Through service, you will gain skills and experience that will help you for the rest of your life, both in work and in society.
• Meet community needs: do you think we can rely on government to solve all out problems? Each one of us must do our part to help make our community better for ourselves and others.
• Develops civic responsibility: our country was founded on an ethic of service. The health of our democracy depends on service and community involvement. Working toward the common good is something we must all practice.
• Enhances self image: service allows you to make a difference through active and meaningful contribution to your communities.
• Broadens perspective: your critical thinking skills get stronger when you are challenged to examine, question and refine or change your perceptions, assumptions and beliefs with regard to the world in which we live. This leads to a more valuable, successful life.
• Reflect on your life goals: demonstrates to students that learning and civic engagement are life-changing, life-long activities.
• Expands your resume: community projects are excellent experiences to expand your resume, and show prospective employers or graduate schools the breadth of your background.
Benefits for Faculty
• Research: fertile ground for new ideas and roles, new avenues for research and publication.
• New Perspective: different access to subjects, new opinions on society and its problems.
• New Colleagues and Resources.
• Better Courses: can improve the ability of students to the practical implications of the course materials. Can be more useful in encouraging class participation in lectures and discussions.
• Community Applications of Scholarship.
Benefits for Community Organization
• Provides human resources: helps an agency meet its immediate educational, human safety, and environmental needs. The talent, energy, and enthusiasm of our university students are applied to meet these ever-increasing needs. In the longer term, it can help a community agency recruit possible future professionals for the field.
• Democracy: students may commit to a lifetime of volunteering after this experience, creating a democracy of participation. Student input can improve agency performance and give professionals fresh perspectives on the community they serve.
• Broaden agency goals: community agencies gain the opportunity to participate in an educational partnership. Helps agencies maintain programs that lack government resources. May encourage participatory democracy and wider public understanding and support for the agency.