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Phone: (619) 388-2701
Work-Based Learning Coordinator
Phone: (619) 388-2734
Work-Based Learning Coordinator
Phone: (619) 388-2340
Phone: (619) 388-5072
Phone: (619) 388-5897
WHAT IS SERVICE LEARNING?
Service Learning is for all students and faculty and can be incorporated into any discipline. It is an experiential learning strategy that integrates classroom learning with meaningful community service through critical reflection. Students provide a service to community organizations and learn to apply course content and concepts to real life situations in reflection activities such as writing assignments, discussion groups, and research papers. Faculty can create a greater level of engagement and participation within the classroom through reflection activities and discussions on the students' service experiences and learning moments. Students gain hands-on experience in the real world, learn new skills, and explore career options.
Service Learning is different from volunteering because Service Learning is a teaching method that incorporates community based activities into the curricula. Unlike volunteers, service learning students are required to connect service experiences to course content through reading, writing, and dialogue.
WHY SERVICE LEARNING?
Overall, studies have shown that when students are able to participate in high impact practices like service learning, their learning is increased and, as a result, they are more successful in school. “Generally speaking, the greater students’ involvement in the life of the college, especially its academic life, the greater their acquisition of knowledge and development of skills” (Tinto, 1997).
Service learning is not new. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, “Service learning has a positive impact on student learning outcomes, civic engagement, and retention. Beginning in 1994, the American Association of Community Colleges promoted the value of service learning to the 1,200 associate degree-granting institutions in the U.S. According to three AACC national surveys, two-thirds of all community colleges offer service learning in their curricular programs.”
How to incorporate service learning in your class:
Fill out the WBL faculty online participation request or contact the Work-Based Learning Team to support you in integrating Service Learning to your class.
Most faculty incorporate service learning in the following ways.
Course Requirement- A student is required to perform a service project in order to complete the course. All students are involved in service projects which can create in-depth classroom dialogue and a sense of community.
Course Option- A student selects service learning from a variety of assignment options and empowers students to make critical decisions about their own learning process.
Extra Credit- A student earns extra credit for completing a service activity. The assignment may be a one-time project or require a set number of hours.
Honors Credit- A student and faculty design a service learning component to augment regular course requirements for honors credit.
Possible classroom reflection activities for service learning include a journal, short papers, field notes, e-mail correspondence, web postings, portfolio pieces, video, or classroom discussions. Check out Professor Jill Moreno Ikari’s Sample Syllabus.
On-Campus service learning opportunities:
The Stand - Mesa's Food and Professional Clothing Pantry
Students can help set-up and distribute food at the monthly Farmer’s Markets or organize food or clothing donation drives to alleviate food insecurity and increase access to free food and professional clothing for our students.
Canyon Day – Tecolote Canyon Clean-Up
Students can remove trash, debris and non-native plants to improve the quality of the nature trails at Tecolote Canyon.
OFF-CAMPUS SERVICE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES:
Students can only serve at community organizations on the Community Partners list. Please check with the Work-Based Learning Team for the list.
- Association for Experiential Education
- California Campus Compact
- Corporation for National and Community Service
- National Campus Compact
- National Society for Experiential Education
- Tinto, V. (1997). Classrooms as Communities: Exploring the Educational Character of Student Persistence. The Journal of Higher Education, 68(6), 599-623. doi:10.2307/2959965
Follow the WBL Team @SDMesaWBL for career updates and information about WBL activities at Mesa College!