Q: What is the difference between service
learning and volunteerism or internships?
A: Service learning is an academic form
of civic engagement that is guided by a specific curriculum. The service is structured
and consistent for the duration of the course and reflected on regularly. The relationship
between the community organization and the faculty is a mutually beneficial partnership
for the students and the organization. Both the students and the organization are
gaining valuable recourses.
Volunteerism emphasizes the services provided to the organization. The benefits
for the organization outweigh those of the students. In addition, the service is
not structured around a curriculum and is usually inconsistent. Reflection does
not occur regularly.
Internships emphasize the knowledge the student has already gained. The benefits
for the students outweigh those of the organization. Although the work is usually
based on a previously learned skill, the work is not structured around a current
curriculum and requires significant time practicing the skill. Reflection does not
Q: How can I teach a service learning course?
A: It is required that all faculty who would
like to teach a service learning course attend the Advanced
Service Learning Course Construction Workshop (offered every fall and spring
semester) You may also contact the MUSLP office to arrange a consultation. You will
be able to meet with a MUSLP representative to discuss your course objectives, possible
service learning opportunities and partners, and gather resources to guide your
service learning course construction process.
Q: How will students know it is a service
A: All service learning courses are indicated
by an “SL” designation. This allows students to identify the courses with a service-learning
component. In addition, the MUSLP lists new and archived service learning courses
on our website.
Q: Will my students be prepared for the
service learning experience?
A: Faculty play an important role in preparing
the students for the service learning experience. It is required that each course
includes at least 1 reading about or pertaining to service learning. The MUSLP GA
is also available to discuss service learning with your class and to answer any
questions your students may have.
Q: How will I locate appropriate community
partners for my course?
A: The MUSLP can assist faculty in contacting
possible community partners. A consultation with a MUSLP representative is beneficial
for this process. In addition, the MUSLP invites many of the organizations to participate
in campus events and service learning discussions. These are excellent places to
meet and speak with organizations that are familiar with the MUSLP.