What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning is a form of experiential learning that integrates academic study with relevant community service.

Learning through service

Service and learning are deliberately and explicitly tied to the learning objectives of the course. The goal is to have students gain direct experience with problems or issues they are studying in their courses while reflecting on the problems and the solutions to these problems. An important part of the course is the opportunity for students to apply what they are learning to real world situations.

Service-learning courses focus on the idea that giving back to the community is an important aspect of one’s education, and that working with community partners is important for promoting civic responsibility and good citizenship for work and for life.

More than community service

Service-learning differs from volunteerism or community service in that academic credit is for learning, and students should be graded on their academic performance and not for the hours of service. Similar to other courses, students should be evaluated on how they master the course content.

Who benefits?

Beneficiaries of service-learning, including the students, the community the students are serving, community partners, and faculty. Students enhance and deepen their learning through a guided service project that allows them to directly apply their knowledge and skills to real world situations. The community, including the community partner, also benefits from Cal Lutheran students who are developing their expertise by providing them with informational, organizational, social, and technical services. Through service-learning, faculty implement valuable experience-based learning within course curricula.