Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services

What is Service-Learning?

Service-Learning Pedagogy

Service-learning at The University of Toledo is an on-going mutually beneficial experience through which students, faculty, and the Toledo metropolitan community partner to foster civic responsibility through active learning and guided reflection. Service-learning helps students understand the theories taught in the classroom, understand their community, and understand themselves. Service-learning is not just community service. Service-learning is an experience in which both students and the community benefit. Students have an opportunity to explore course theories and concepts outside of the classroom, while the community receives a much-needed service.
"The Basics of Service Learning" by Sudershan Pasupuleti, Ph.D.,Assistant Professor of Social Work, The University of Toledo

Benefits of Service-Learning

The benefits of service-learning reach a wide audience, including the student, faculty, university, and community. [click for more information]


Critical Components of Service-Learning: (c) L. Richard Bradley, 2004, Learn & Serve Ohio

                                                      components of service learning tri-angle


Other Definitions of Service Learning

The Campus Compact National Center for Community Colleges says, “Service-learning is a teaching method which combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community.”

Robert Bringle and Julie Hatcher say, “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.”
Robert Bringle and Julie Hatcher, “A Service Learning Curriculum for Faculty.” The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. Fall 1995. 112-122.

The American Association for Higher Education says, “Service-learning means a method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service that: is conducted in and meets the needs of a community and is coordinated with an institution of higher education, and with the community; helps foster civic responsibility; is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students enrolled; and includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience
 American Association for Higher Education (AAHE): Series on Service-Learning in the Disciplines (adapted from the National and Community service Trust Act of 1993.)

Last Updated: 6/9/16