Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Why service-learning?

Service-learning is an opportunity for faculty members to pair academic instruction with community engagement. Our model of service-learning aims to build reciprocal relationship between community partner organizations and the university, while also fostering rich learning experiences for students.

Here are our top 3 reasons why you should implement service-learning into your course:

1) Service-learning enhances student learning

In service learning students are able to:

  • connect academic content with hands-on experience
  • increase their sense of self-efficacy and develop their analytical skills
  • challenge personal and social assumptions, values and beliefs
  • develop deliberative, collaborative, and leadership skills
  • consider the civic, moral and ethical implications of the application of knowledge in professional and civic life
  • learn from community-based professionals with expertise in addressing social issues and
    the communities they work within

2) Service-learning gives instructors the opportunity to develop pedagogically

In developing a service learning course, instructors can:

  • engage with local communities
  • increase civic responsibility and action
  • develop and implement a new pedagogy
  • promote inclusive teaching
  • diversify one’s teaching style to include different learning styles
  • transform the curriculum to include diverse perspectives

3) Service-learning helps support community partners as they work to address community needs

By participating in service learning community partners can:

  • expand their base of volunteers
  • work with students who are enthusiastic and motivated to learn and bring with them new insights, perspectives, and knowledge
  • help shape student learning and knowledge of their surrounding community
  • connect with University of Washington students, faculty and staff in meaningful ways
  • educate and inform University of Washington students and faculty about issues of importance to their organization and the population(s) they work with.