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An Introduction To Service- Learning. Office of Community Service 2129 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20052 Phone: (202) 994-5493 E-mail: Andrew Leon Bryn McMahon. “Service-learning is one of the hallmarks of a GW education.” -President Steven Knapp. What Is Service-Learning?.

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an introduction to service learning

An Introduction To Service- Learning

Office of Community Service

2129 G Street, NW

Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-5493


Andrew Leon

Bryn McMahon

service learning is one of the hallmarks of a gw education president steven knapp
“Service-learning is one of the hallmarks of a GW education.”-President Steven Knapp
what is service learning
What Is Service-Learning?
  • Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Source: Campus Compact

what is service learning4
What Is Service-Learning?

Furco, Andrew. “Service-Learning: A Balanced Approach To Experimental Education.” Corporation For National Service, 1996, pgs. 2-6.

differentiating service learning from other forms of education
Differentiating Service-Learning from Other Forms of Education
  • Experiential Learning: The knowledge and skills acquired through life, work experience and study which have not been formally attested through any educational or professional certification. (
  • Internship:A work-related learning experience for individuals who wish to develop hands on work experience in a certain occupational field (
  • Practicum: A college course that is designed to give students supervised practical application of a previously studied theory


examples of service learning
Examples of Service-Learning
  • In a course on creating business plans, students could design actual business plans for a non-profit start-up.
  • In a course on data management, students could help a community partner with data management needs.
  • In a course on community health, students could come up with ideas to advocate healthy eating habits for adolescents and find ways to implement them.
what are some components of service learning
What are Some Components of Service-Learning?
  • Most students work for not-for-profit partner (must be faculty approved)
  • The service-learning project should clearly integrate the topics being covered in the class curriculum
  • The projectstudents complete should benefit the community and the student
  • The project needs clearly identified learning objectives
  • The students should be required to reflect on and evaluate their Service-Learning project and objectives
  • The student could be involved in designing the project
who benefits from service learning
Who Benefits from Service-Learning?



Community Partners

Site Staff

The University

Community at Large

where does service learning take place
Where does Service-Learning Take Place?

Service-learning takes place both in the classroom and in the community.

why should gw incorporate service learning
To enhance teaching and learning

To increase retention and graduation rates

To create a sense of social responsibility

To enhance community relations

To enrich the professional identity for GW faculty

Why Should GW Incorporate Service-Learning?
academic voices on service learning
Academic Voices on Service-Learning
  • “Students overall get a feeling of accomplishment, confidence, and value as a result of taking part in a service learning experience.”

Academic Service Learning in Human Resource Management Education by Susan Madsen

  • “The learning outcomes of service learning include development of leadership and problem-solving skills, connecting the theoretical with the practical, and educating students for citizenship.”

Rationale, Benefits, and Methods of Service Learning in Marketing Education by Debbie Easterling, Fredrica Rudell

market basket schools with service learning classes
Market-Basket Schools with Service-Learning Classes
  • Northeastern University

  • University of Michigan

  • Tulane University

  • Georgetown University

  • American University

how can service learning be incorporated into your academic class
How can Service-Learning be Incorporated into your Academic Class?
  • As a fourth credit option for a three credit course
  • As a capstone project for a student or students to complete
  • As a teaching methodology
what are the guiding principles for organizing and constructing a service learning course
What are the Guiding Principles for Organizing and Constructing a Service-Learning Course?
  • Reflection: Is there a mechanism that encourages students to link their service experience to course content and to reflect upon why the service is important?
  • Reciprocity: Is reciprocity evident in the service component?
what are the steps to creating a service learning course
What are the Steps to Creating a Service-Learning Course?
  • Step 1: Contact Office of Community Service
  • Step 2: Identify the course that you would like to infuse with Service-Learning
  • Step 3: With the help of the Office of Community Service design a syllabus explaining:
    • why this kind of service should be part of the course
    • make explicit connections between the course, departmental objectives and the student’s goals and expectations
  • Step 4: Identify Service-Learning sites
  • Step 5: Look at Campus Compact’s guidelines for syllabi


Computer Science


Exercise Science


Human Services


Medicine and Health Sciences (graduate programs)


Political Science


Public Health and Health Services (undergraduate and graduate programs)

Public Policy & Public Administration




Women’s Studies and the Women’s Leadership Program

Writing Program

Are Other Professors At GW Incorporating Service-Learning?Currently, more than 30 faculty members across 17 departments have included Service-Learning in their classes including:

What Does the Office of Community Service Provide to Help GW Faculty Incorporate Service-Learning into their Curricula?





Modification of Course Syllabi

Connections with Community Partners

The Tracking of Service-Learning Hours

how can i contact the office of community service
How Can I Contact the Office of Community Service?

Office of Community Service

2129 G Street, NW

Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-5493