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Service Learning and Community Service

Service Learning and Community Service


A teaching and learning strategy integrated with meaningful community service

Service-Learning at Southwest combines instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Service-learning designated courses are incorporated into general education and college core classes for many degree programs.

According to the National Commission on Service-Learning, service-learning:

  • Links academic content and standards
  • Involves students in helping to determine and meet real, defined community needs
  • Is reciprocal in nature, benefiting both the community and the service providers by combining a service experience with a learning experience
  • Can be used in any subject area so long as it is appropriate to learning goals

Be sure to read the service learning guidelines to understand student responsibilities.

Learn more about volunteer opportunites.

  • Community service is work without pay to give back to people in the community.
  • Community service is different from volunteering because it is not always done on a volunteer basis. It can be part of your citizenship requirement, criminal justice sanctions, scholarship requirement, or may be part of the curriculum of a course.
  • Community service can be donations to food banks, homeless, veterans or any other focus group. Examples include building a house with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, tutoringing and mentoring just to name a few.

The distinctive element of service-learning is that it enhances the community through the service provided. Additionally, it also has powerful learning consequences for the students or others participating in providing a service. Service-learning is growing so rapidly because of its demonstrated benefits for communities, schools, students and faculty.


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