What Is Service Learning?
Service learning is the integration of service or community engagement experiences into credit-bearing academic courses. At Loyola University New Orleans, service learning students and faculty have the chance to apply and deepen their understanding of class concepts, learn about social justice, and examine the relevance of class topics in the real world. Learning comes to life when the classroom is connected to the community.
Community Benefits of Service Learning
- Building capacity for positive social change
- New energy and creativity
- More personal attention for clients
- Strengthening or expanding services and programs
- Connecting to university resources
- Building connections to other partner agencies
Goals for Service Learning
The goal of service learning is to make connections between course topics and real world issues. Students, faculty, community partners, and the university all work together to make service learning experiences successful and enriching. OCELTS has defined goals for each audience to help set a strong foundation for service learning partnerships.
Students participating in service learning will:
- Be able to explain the connection between course content and their service experiences.
- Be able to paraphrase the definition of social justice.
- Be able to give examples of the root causes of social issues.
- Be able to differentiate between service and social change as they relate to their service learning experience.
Faculty participating in service learning will:
- Consider the benefits to themselves and their students gained through service learning to be worth the time and energy they invest in it.
- Include a service learning-relevant student learning objective on their service learning course syllabi.
- Be satisfied with the degree to which service learning contributed to their students’ achieving a course’s learning outcomes.
- Be able to explain how their service learning course contributes to OCELTS’ goals for service learning students.
- Be able to explain how their students’ service is intended to affect the community partner agencies they served.
OCELTS will strongly advocate that Loyola University New Orleans:
Carefully scrutinize community engagement against standards for quality during the tenure and promotion process.
- Meaningfully recognize faculty who meet standards for high quality community engagement in the tenure and promotion process.
- Identify and minimize disincentives that defer faculty from volunteering to participate in service learning and community engagement.
- Adequately resource a net increase in community engaged teaching and research at Loyola.
Community partner agencies will:
Articulate an intended objective for their agency that should result from its participation in service learning.
- Be able to name an indirect benefit to their agency due to being a part of the Loyola community.
- Describe their experience of accessing additional Loyola community resources as manageable or easy.
- Identify two other Loyola community partner agencies with which it has developed or strengthened its relationship because of its partnership with OCELTS.