Back in 1990, experts gathered 147 definitions of service learning. The basis of service learning is that it combines community service with classroom instruction. Academic concepts are learned in the context of social problems. Instead of only researching the solutions, students will come up with practical plans of action through volunteering.
Service learning opportunities are courses that entail community service, volunteering for class credit, and programs extending beyond different terms with courses in line with current community projects.
The Unique Rewards of Service Learning
According to scholars, service learning is optimal when learning and service are well balanced. There should be an equal expectation of the community action goals and learning outcomes.
When students get involved in co-curricular activities, it strengthens the outcomes of the student. Learners who engage in service learning, assume leadership roles, and get involved in campus activities often fare better.
How Does College Service Learning Work?
The number of students involved in service learning in the United States keeps increasing yearly. Each student handles a unique project in line with their course’s subject matter and the community’s needs.
Service learning helps to build the right skills for different career paths. Experiences gained from such programs can help students get jobs and internships with government organizations and non-profits. Service learning programs are offered via social sciences, health, humanities, and education, and STEM programs.
Rewards of Service Learning
Service learning helps to strengthen and develop specific skills such as leadership, problem-solving, and self-dependency. It also helps improve cultural awareness, receptivity, empathy, and confidence.
Students involved in service learning will develop strong critical thinking skills and innovativeness. They will also have an increased sense of civic responsibility and citizenship and practical experience of the field chosen.
What makes Service Learning so Important?
Service learning is beneficial to all participants. The community is also not left out because they have access to the institution’s talents and resources. Students also get practical experiences on the job.
Student leadership and service learning are essential. They help students graduate on time, get good results, and improve writing skills. Service learning graduates like Peace Corps alumni move on to higher levels of personal fulfillment and civil life. By their experiences, they have a better chance of outperforming other job candidates.
Service learning programs, when combined with academic activities, help create a balanced student. Not all students will have the chance to take part in a service learning program. But if the opportunity comes, one should explore it to the fullest. The rewards aren’t just better grades but also extend to giving the students a better life.