Academic Service-Learning

What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning is a teaching method that combines community service with academic coursework and focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning classes involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community.

How Are Service-Learning Students Different from Other Volunteers?

Service-learning students differ from other volunteers in the following ways:

  • Service activities are connected to course learning goals through reflection. Credit is not given simply for completing service hours, but for the learning that takes place. 
  • Community partners who are considered a co-educator for service-learning students. We strongly encourage community partners to learn about what the students are studying in class, and then engage them in on-site reflection activities. 
  • Most service-learning students are expected to serve 2 to 3 hours per week during the semester of their service-learning class. Placements last for the duration of the semester. Because the semester goes by quickly, it is very important that community partners plug service-learning students into concrete volunteer activities in a timely manner.

Fall 2016 Information

Academic service-learning materials for Fall 2016 will be available soon!

If you have any questions or would like to know more about service-learning placements, please contact the CSLCE by phone at 517-353-4400.

Awards and Recognition

In recognition of the service and engagement of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners, Michigan State University was awarded the following prestigious awards in 2014

U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Logo

2014 U.S. President's "Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (with Distinction)"

Carnegie Foundation Logo

2014 Carnegie Foundation "Elective Community Engagement" Classification

Michigan Campus Compact Logo

2014 Michigan Campus Compact "Engaged Campus of the Year"