Why Engage in Service-Learning?

Service-Learning can benefit students, faculty, and community partners in a host of ways.


  • Students learn more deeply from Service-Learning experiences as they apply theoretical concepts to real world experiences.
  • Students learn how to think critically about deep-seated issues found in their communities and in the world they live.
  • Students learn important lessons about civic responsibility as they participate in socially responsible activities that are impacting their communities.
  • Students gain an increased appreciation of diverse cultures and communities outside of their own social networks.
  • Students develop improved problem-solving skills as they work with community partners directly on real world challenges.
  • Students are able to further cultivate their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills through team interactions and working with community partners.
  • Students improve their ability to work in situations of ambiguity, expanding their flexibility, and enhancing their openness to change.
  • Students refine their own personal values, preparing them for life-long civic engagement.
  • Students have the opportunity to explore potential career paths or fields of interest as well as acquire transferrable skills for future jobs.


  • Service-Learning helps students to achieve course learning outcomes.
  • Service-Learning helps foster more interactive teaching methods as well as adds new dimensions to classroom discussions to enrich the learning experience.
  • Service-Learning helps offer firsthand knowledge of community issues and dynamics.
  • Service-Learning may lead to new research and publication opportunities.
  • Service-Learning may help boost course enrollment and attract more motivated and engaged students.

Community Partners

  • Service-Learning projects support the specific, identified needs of an organization.
  • Service-Learning helps community organizations attract increased human resources, build capacity to meet organizational objectives, and inject new energy and perspectives into their work.
  • Service-Learning opportunities can often lead to future growth of the community partner’s volunteer pool through follow-on volunteering and word of mouth.
  • Service-Learning helps many organizations with their larger, strategic goals of advocacy and education about community issues.
  • Service-Learning may help identify and access other university resources and may lead to future technical assistance or other collaborative opportunities.



Campus Compact. (2003). Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit. Providence, RI: Campus Compact.

Gottlieb, K. and Robinson, G. (Ed.). (2002). A Practical Guide for Integrating Civic Responsibility in the Curriculum. Washington, DC: American Association of Community Colleges.