Classification and Purpose
The University of New Haven is pleased to continue supporting faculty who wish to develop academic service-learning courses.
Academic service-learning at the University of New Haven provides opportunities for students and faculty to work in partnership with the Greater New Haven Region and beyond for the purpose of exchanging knowledge and resources to strengthen our global society.
Academic service-learning is a pedagogical approach that links learning objectives with service objectives to deepen students’ understanding in a specified academic discipline. Academic service-learning meets an actual community need and provides structured opportunities for students to reflect on their experience and to apply their knowledge and skills in real-life situations. Academic service-learning enriches the learning experience, develops civic responsibility, and strengthens communities.
Academic service-learning “is a credit-bearing, educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility” (Bringle and Hatcher 1995; emphasis added).
Students will reap the rewards as faculty use "service in the community" as a tool to reach learning objectives in their classes. Faculty will involve students in direct service which meets significant community needs while integrating the service-learning pedagogy in specific academic disciplines through research, writing, and presentations. Examples of academic service-learning include environmental science students measuring water pollution and then disseminating their findings to neighborhood residents and government administrators, and accounting students assisting low-income citizens with tax returns.
Service-Learning Scholars will attend and participate in one full-day professional seminar that will introduce faculty to academic service-learning. Topics include Discover Service-Learning as Pedagogy, Establish Community Partnerships, Design an Academic Service-Learning Course, and Assess and Integrate Reflection.
After completion of the seminar, Scholars will have a strong working knowledge of academic service-learning and will have the tools necessary to integrate the service-learning component into an already existing academic course. Service-learning components should enhance and enrich existing curricular learning outcomes rather than change them. Together with the University’s Director of Academic Service-Learning, Scholars will complete course construction and will have a revised course syllabus, a partnership with a community agency, and be a member of a university-wide academic service-learning network.