What is service-learning?

Service-learning is a teaching and learning method that connects meaningful community service experiences with academic learning. Service-learning focuses on critical, reflective thinking, and civic responsibility to enhance academic learning. At the same time, it provides opportunities for students to use their emerging and acquired skills and knowledge to meet real needs in the community.

What makes service-learning stand out amongst various forms of experiential education? The intent of service-learning is to "equally benefit the provider and the recipient of the service" and "to ensure equal focus on both the service being provided and the learning that is occurring" (Furco, 1996). The North Shore community benefits from the active participation of NSCC students.

What are the desired outcomes of service-learning?

The Office of Service-Learning at NSCC has identified the following student learning outcomes associated with service-learning:

  1. Students will link course content to what they are learning in the "real world" while meeting community needs.
  2. Students will develop an awareness of community needs, which creates an understanding of the value of civic responsibility.
  3. Students will develop communication and networking skills.
  4. Students will reflect on their service-learning experience and examine their attitudes, values and beliefs.
  5. Students will enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills through active learning.

What are the benefits of service-learning?

Service-learning provides many benefits to students, the college, and the North Shore community.

Service-learning enhances students' academic learning by...
  • Improving student understandig of course material.
  • Increasing student motivation.
  • Providing long-term academic outcomes through problem analysis, critical thinking, and cognitive development.
Service-learning provides students with active learning experiences by...
  • Providing opportunities for students to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in school to real-life situations.
  • Enriching student experiences by bringing "books to life and life to books."
Service-learning provides students experiences with diversity by...
  • Providing opportunities for students to engage with diverse groups of people in their own community.
  • Enhancing students' sense of community, belonging, and civic responsibility.
Service-learning provides students with career training by...
  • Providing "on-the-job" training.
  • Enhancing project management skills, organizational skills, communication skills, and relationship building skills.
  • Allowing students to note their experiences on academic trascripts and resumes, showing future employers or college admission offices a bit of their character.
  • Allowing students to explore potential future career or education pathways.
  • Providing students with a network of contacts and references.
Service-learning benefits the community by...
  • Building lasting ties between the college and community.
  • Allowing community organizations to partner with highly enthusiastic, passionate, skilled, professional, and knowledgeable students.
  • Helping community partners spread awareness and support for their mission further into the community.
Service-learning benefits the college by...
  • Increasing our responsiveness to community needs.
  • Strengthening relationships with the community at-large.
  • Enhancing our public image, which positively impacts curriculum, student recruitment, alumni relations, and fund-raising efforts.
  • Building a sense of community on the North Shore.
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