|Welcome to the BYU-Idaho Service-Learning Home Page.
Grounded in the learning theories of John Dewey, Service-Learning is firmly established in over 720 colleges and universities nationwide.
You can learn more about service-learning by navigating within this site using the yellow bar above. A Faculty Guidebook, resource materials, a supportive network of faculty members and staff are available to help you learn more. Take a few minutes and learn how to teach more effectively using this method.
What is Service-Learning?
Service-learning is a credit-bearing, educational experience in which students: 1) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified on- and off-campus community needs and 2) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility (Committee Minutes, January 25, 2001).
- A Business English instructor has her students create promotional literature and business documents for a Free Clinic site which offers free medical assistance to low-income families (A. Hendricks).
- An Income Tax Accounting class includes a service-learning experience by offering free tax advice to campus students and faculty (K. Hart and C. Hawkins).
- A Marriage Preparation course includes a presentation by the Family Crisis Center. What they learn becomes the basis for lessons which students in the class then give to friends and roommates on behalf of the Family Crisis Center (D. Ladle).
- To teach the value of record keeping for future generations, a Book of Mormon class has students help elderly individuals write their life stories and then publish them (L. Thurgood).
How is Service-Learning different from Internships?
- PURPOSE: Internships are capstone experiences that focus on job training and career networking. Service-learning exposes students to a career field and helps them apply classroom learning in a non-profit community setting to meet community needs.
- METHOD: Service-Learning involves on-going written and in-class reflection connecting the service with course material. Internships require a summary paper and an evaluation.
- STRUCTURE: Service-Learning is integrated within a course; internships are considered a course on their own.
- DURATION: Service-Learning could be called a mini-internship. Service-Learning often compliments internships by providing students with a shorter-term community experience that can help them refine or redirect their goals for longer internships.
What are the Benefits of Service-Learning?
- More lively class discussions and increased student participation.
- Greater student retention of course material.
- Greater student awareness of community and "real world" issues.
- More innovative approaches to classroom instruction.
- Enhanced faculty opportunities for teaching variety.
- Greater faculty awareness of community issues.