Community-engaged teaching

"Service-learning is the pedagogy that links academic study with the practical experience of community service. It has become an international movement that offers new approaches to teaching and learning and to the civic engagement of institutions of higher education.

"It provides students with an education that meets the highest academic standards and delivers meaningful service that makes a difference to the well-being of society, particularly for communities and persons on the socio-economic margins.

"Service-learning aims to develop in students a lifelong commitment to service and leadership. Since service learning is an international movement, it promotes not only local commitment, but also an understanding of the interrelatedness of communities and societies across the world."

-- North Carolina Campus Compact,
Promising Practices of International Service & Service Learning, 2005

Service learning is an essential element of community engagement, courses that directly connect students to the community. Service learning is considered a high-impact experience for students, on a par with capstone courses and undergraduate research. It includes both a service and an academic/reflective component.

The experience can take many different forms. A chemistry class studying pesticides detection spent a semester working with a local fifth-grade studying the same subject. It also is a part of some study abroad programs. The School of Education, for example, offers service-learning opportunities in Jamaica and Malawi. The Department of Management has taken students to Belize for service learning.