CLICK HERE FOR THE FALL 2013 FACULTY SERVICE LEARNING SURVEY
Service Learning is a method of teaching and learning in which students, faculty, and community partners work together to enhance student learning by applying academic knowledge in a community-based setting. Student work addresses the needs of the community as identified through collaboration with community or tribal partners, while meeting instructional objectives through faculty-structured service work and critical reflection meant to prepare students to be civically responsible members of the community. At its best, service learning enhances and deepens students' understanding of an academic discipline by facilitating the integration of theory and practice, while providing them with experience that develops life skills and engages them in critical reflection about individual, institutional, and social ethics.
Service Learning Course Designation
Courses based upon the service learning instructional method are designated as Service Learning courses in each semester's Schedule of Classes and Course Offering Directory. These courses are also designated as Service Learning courses on student transcripts.
The Office for Civic Engagement works with faculty, students and community partners to incorporate and support service learning endeavors.
Service Learning Course Designation: UM’s Faculty Senate approved the Service Learning Course Designation in 2008. Faculty may request this special designation for their courses from ASCRC. In order to receive the course designation, faculty must submit a completed Service Learning Course Form to the Faculty Senate Office (UH221) in late September. Please contact Andrea Vernon, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 243-5159, with any questions.
The Service Learning Course Designation at UM provides the following benefits:
- Recognition and legitimization of service learning as a valued pedagogy: Through faculty review and approval of course syllabi the value and academic rigor of service learning will be acknowledged.
- Increased visibility of Service Learning on campus: All service learning courses will have a common designation as part of the course title, e.g. SW 423: Addiction Studies/Service Learning, and will be listed in university publications such as the course catalog and schedule of classes. Student transcripts will reflect service learning experiences, and academic departments can use the designation to recognize and reward faculty and student participation in service learning.
- Greater consistency among service learning courses: Service learning will be operationally defined and all service learning courses will meet well-defined standards.
- Easier student access to the courses: The Office for Civic Engagement (OCE) will serve as a clearinghouse for students seeking to enroll in a service learning course. There is increasing demand from students to know which courses contain service learning experiences.
- Enhanced opportunities for UM/community partnerships: Community partner organizations will have improved communication with departments and/or faculty who teach service learning courses that could meet their identified needs.
- Increased ability to evaluate and assess service learning impacts in the classroom and the community: Methods of assessment will be identified and incorporated by faculty to gain input and feedback from students and community partners about the experience and how it met the course learning objectives.
The OCE is a resource for faculty interested in developing Service Learning curricula for their courses and connecting with community agency partners. Please contact Andrea Vernon at 243-5159 or email@example.com.
Faculty development funding may be available to faculty who offer service learning courses in partnership with the Missoula Flagship afterschool program. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The 2011 Service Learning Colloquium was held March 10, 2011
Keynote Speaker: Nadinne Cruz
When students elect to take a service learning course at UM, they more deeply connect course content to everyday life in the community. Service learning enhances student education and builds a civic connection that benefits the student, the organization, and the individuals served. Service learning courses are offered in a variety of academic disciplines including education, human health and performance, science, art, drama, environmental studies, pharmacy, and more. These courses are noted on student transcripts as service learning courses and are listed in the course schedule each semester.
Students can participate in a self-designed service learning independent study course through the OCE. Contact Colleen Kane at 243-5128 or email@example.com for more information.
The OCE serves as a liaison for community agencies interested in connecting to faculty and service learning courses on campus. We can assist in finding the right course and/or instructor to partner with to help meet your community service needs and organizational mission. When community agencies partner with an academic course and faculty member, they commit to providing a safe service experience for UM students that involves appropriate orientation, training and supervision of the service learning students.
UM recently passed a Service Learning course designation, enabling students to seek out service learning courses through the course offering directory. Courses with the designation are also highlighted as Service Learning courses on student transcripts. Every year, increased numbers of faculty, students, and community agency representatives express interest in academic service learning.
When deciding whether service learning may be a fit for your agency, consider the following:
- What learning experience could you provide?
- What disciplines and/or fields of study are reflected at your agency?
- How long/how often do you want student involvement at your agency (e.g., 1x a semester, bi-weekly, daily)?
- Will you be able to devote time and preparation to training needs and service options?
- Are you willing to provide advice and feedback to faculty/students regarding the service performed?
For more information on how to become a service learning community partner agency, please contact Andrea Vernon at 243-5159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read this example of an international service learning case study.