Service Learning

What is Service Learning at HSU?

Service Learning is a collaboration between students, community partners, and faculty that connects academic coursework with service to address community defined needs. Service Learning promotes reciprocity - all parties share responsibility and gain benefits. Students typically conduct 25-30 hours of service. Most Service Learning classes can be identified by the "S" after the course number (i.e., SOC 201S - Social Issues and Action), with some newly piloting Service Learning courses not yet identified by the "S." Service Learning practices offer students and faculty the opportunity to meet the goals of the HSU Strategic Plan and Mission, "to encourage the development of socially and environmentally responsible citizens." 

For more information on Service Learning pedagogy, see the Eight Key Elements, below. 

Why should I get involved?
  • STUDENTS have the opportunity to apply academic concepts to real life scenarios, address community needs, build professional and personal skills and experience...
  • COMMUNITY PARTNERS have the opportunity to bring in diverse perspectives and energy into their agencies, receive assistance on programs and projects, build future stakeholders...
  • FACULTY have the opportunity to build depth and relevance into course student learning objectives, make course readings come alive, connect with community partners to address needs...
Research shows that Service Learning can: 
  • High Impact Practices - Kuh
  • 1/16/18 webinar (CACC) From Research to Action: Findings from a Systemwide STEM Service-Learning Research Study coming soon!
  • More research links coming soon!

Eight Key Elements of Service Learning

Service Learning can be incorporated into all disciplines. The following elements are what students should know and be able to do as a result of their participation in a Service Learning course. All eight elements should be built into every Service Learning course and should work in concert to create powerful teaching and learning experiences. For details, download the information sheet Eight Key Elements of Service Learning here. The Service Learning experience should:

  1.  Meet a real community-identified need, integrating "community voice"
  2.  Link to curriculum - be tied into and enhance the curriculum of the established "S" Designated Service Learning course
  3.  Prepare and orient/train the student: to both the learning site/community partner organization and Service Learning pedagogy
  4.  Reciprocity: partnerships must be reciprocal in practice, being worthwhile and valuable for all participants -- student, faculty, and community
  5.  Provide systematic reflection activities that are embedded throughout the course 
  6.  Undergo constant development: Service Learning - both the student experience and the course evolution- occurs in different stages and on different levels, for all participants
  7.  Foster civic responsibility and diversity
  8.  Provide ongoing, embedded evaluation with all participants aware of what will be evaluated