Dec 14, 2011

Service-Learning: Pioneering Educational Innovation While Strengthening the Community

When College of Engineering Dean Herman Schneider proposed one of the first experiential learning programs – cooperative education – at UC in 1906, he had no idea that providing students with real-world job experience would become a national educational model. Today, cooperative education is available at thousands of colleges and universities around the globe.

Building on UC’s proud history as a leader in experiential learning, the Department of Professional Practice now offers students the opportunity to be part of the next innovative pedagogy combining education and workplace preparation – service-learning.

How does it work? Quite simply, service-learning combines the real world experience of cooperative education with a focus on serving local non-profit organizations, all within the framework of a class curriculum. Students have built websites, run public relations campaigns, created learning materials and much more.

Examples of previous service-learning clients include:
  • Food pantries;
  • Elementary, middle and high schools;
  • After-school programs;
  • Libraries;
  • Local, regional and national charities;
  • Clients within UC and other universities.
By serving these organizations, students gain perspective into a variety of careers while bolstering UC’s longstanding commitment to community engagement– a cornerstone of the UC2019> Strategic Plan.

Want to participate in service-learning? Simply visit the registrar’s website and look for classes that carry an SL designation in the course description. With more faculty and community partners connecting through the Center for Service-Learning website than ever before, there are options available to students in nearly all majors and disciplines.

Have you participated in service-learning? Weigh in below and tell us about it!

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