Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community or public service with intentional reflection and critical thinking. The Liemandt Family Service-Learning Program engages students in working towards positive, sustainable change in the community, while enhancing their own education. These experiences or projects are initiated by faculty who integrate this innovative pedagogy into one or more of their courses. Service-learning experiences can include, but are not limited to, developing or enhancing new after-school programs for school age children, advocating for a homeless shelter or being a companion to the elderly. Before a course begins, the service-learning staff assists faculty in developing appropriate service experiences and identifying key community partners.
Throughout the semester, the service-learning staff provides continuing support to faculty and students by managing many of the logistical aspects of the projects, by maintaining open lines of communication between the faculty, students and community partners and by assisting students in reflecting upon their work within the community.
Students demonstrate what they have learned through research and essay papers, journals and class participation. Faculty assess a student's learning through one or more of these methods.
Most importantly, students benefit by experiencing first-hand the theories and concepts taught within the classroom. Students also experience benefits beyond academic development. Benefits include increased understanding of multi-culturalism and diversity, increased awareness of social issues, increased civic responsibility and increased development of critical thinking skills.
Service-Learning (when developed and implemented in coordination with the Coordinator) fulfills the requirements of the experiential learning designation, required for graduation.