What Does Service Learning Mean to Faculty?
Service learning is a teaching and learning approach that integrates meaningful community service with classroom instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, promote growth in compassion and critical thinking skills, foster civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Through structured reflection activities, students are given the opportunity to understand what was learned and experienced, and how the community was benefited.
Service learning is a direct expression of the Trocaire mission and an integral component of the curriculum, offering immediate opportunities to apply classroom learning to support or enhance the work of local agencies to affect positive change in the community. Courses that integrate service learning equip students with the knowledge and experience necessary to transform them into future leaders and socially-conscious citizens.
Service learning is a flexible pedagogy that can make use of varied service opportunities, be used in a variety of classroom settings, and support numerous learning outcomes. Essential elements of effective service learning practice include well-defined learning goals, meaningful service activities, and critical reflection activities which support both service and learning goals.
The Office of Service Learning is available to assist faculty in the planning and development of service learning opportunities for students, if desired. We have provided a link to the principles of good practice in community service learning pedagogy that can help guide the development of service learning exercises into your class.
Faculty Consultations/Classroom Orientations
The Coordinator of Service Learning is available to discuss community partners, service learning projects, reflection exercises, and service learning resources, as well as conduct orientations during class (or at other pre-arranged times) to introduce students to service learning concepts, methods, and purposes – firstname.lastname@example.org or 827-2543.
A number of faculty resources are located on Moodle under “Faculty Resources” then “Service Learning.”
Including Service Learning in Your Syllabus
The following two links – from the Journal of Effective Teaching and Learn and Serve – present elements of best practices that you may want to want to include when integrating service learning in your course syllabus.
The links below provide examples of service learning syllabi across a wide variety of disciplines:
Reflection is central to service learning because it connects and reinforces in-class work, course readings, and service experiences. It provides an opportunity for students to think critically about service experiences, examine and challenge personal values, beliefs, and opinions, while allowing students to ask questions, share ideas and experiences, challenge current solutions to community issues, and develop plans to address community needs.
Additional Reflection Resources:
- Service learning Reflection Journal, Sass, M. (2013) Service Learning Reflection Journal. Purdue University Learning and Service Engagement series. Center for Instructional Excellence: West Lafayette, IN
- Facilitating Reflection: A Manual for Leaders and Educators
- Service learning: Using Structured Reflection to Enhance Learning from Service, National Campus Compact
- Reflection in Service learning: Making Meaning of Experience, Introduction to Service learning Toolkit: Readings and Resources for Faculty (pg. 111-117), Julie Hatcher and Robert Bringle, Campus Compact (2003)
Community Partner Database
The Community Partner list allows faculty to learn more about approved community partners and their potential service learning opportunities or projects.
How would you like to find some money for a special project? Well, now you can! A generous donor, Jean Clohessy, left a bequest to Trocaire College. It has been allocated for service learning and community service activities.
Any Trocaire student, club, or employee can apply for the funding. Start to “Pay It Forward! Please inquire with Coordinator of Service Learning.
The Faculty Guidebook is designed to be a reference tool for faculty involved in service learning. This guidebook will provide you with necessary resources for incorporating service learning into your course. A copy is available in the Mary Clare Center, or may request a copy at email@example.com.