Service-learning is a teaching and learning method that utilizes a combination of academic course content and relevant service with community agencies. Here at Coastal, all service-learning is completed through a specially designated course. Classroom learning for students is augmented with service activities that are intended to provide exposure to and enhanced understanding of course concepts and theories. Through structured reflection on their service activities, students gain a deeper understanding of course content, develop skills in community leadership, and advance their appreciation of social responsibility, global awareness, and diversity. Service-learning allows students to practically apply and test their academic learning through hands-on career and professional development opportunities that also promote community interests.
Service-learning courses can be found when looking at the Academic Course Schedule and looking for this symbol:
Each service-learning course challenges students to collaborate with their peers, faculty members, and a community partner agency representative to address real-world problems with knowledge-based and active interventions. Every service-learning project relates to the learning goals and objectives of that particular course. The service element of the course is built into the curriculum just as traditional assignments, quizzes, and projects are. Student reflection activities are used to link the learning from the academic course content to the experience of the service activity.
Service-learning emphasizes meaningful student learning through applied, active learning that draws on multiple knowledge sources (academic, student knowledge and experience, and community knowledge). Service-learning also provides students with ample opportunities for gaining practical experience within a discipline and with critical reflection. Effective service-learning courses are those that use service and civic engagement to integrate and enhance academic learning, not to take the place of it. Service-learning allows students to practically apply and test their academic learning through hands-on opportunities that also promote community interests.
Service-learning helps students discover the skills that will make them successful beyond college. Problem identification, teamwork, professional communication, planning, overcoming obstacles, and creating solutions to high level community problems are just some of the skills that are promoted through service-learning projects. Although the projects themselves are important, the learning, connection to course content, and skill development are the overall learning objectives of all service-learning courses.
Students in service-learning designated courses make a commitment to become actively involved in a service project or dedicating a certain amount of service hours to an organization. Students are graded through a variety of structured reflection activities which range from classroom discussions to reflective end-of-course essays and presentations.
Service-learning goes above and beyond community service and volunteerism. While those activities are an important part of community engagement, service-learning differs in several ways. First, the service activities address specific community needs related to learning goals and objectives of a particular course of the students providing the service.
Service-Learning also differs from community service or volunteerism in that:
Our motto for students is: “Serve. Learn. Succeed.” We believe that well-designed service-learning experiences help students gain a deeper understanding of course content, develop skills in community leadership, and advance their appreciation of social responsibility, global awareness, and diversity. At the same time, we expect that the community agencies with whom our students serve will equally benefit from their connection to the College.
By anchoring service-learning in the core curriculum, the College of Coastal Georgia is making a long-term commitment to engaged teaching, learning, and community outreach and is affirming its desire to become Georgia’s College of Service-Learning. The College’s vision is to provide outstanding education for tomorrow’s leaders and citizens through service-learning, global awareness, and engaged entrepreneurship.
The primary goals of the Center for Service-Learning are to:
The development and implementation of service-learning fits well within the College’s mission by “Advocating excellence in scholarship and community engagement” and offering “student–centered programs that offer a rich and diverse student experience.” Service-learning also contributes to the College’s mission by ensuring that “Students are prepared for meaningful careers, advanced study, lifelong learning, and participation in a global and technological society.” The College’s commitment to service-learning enhances its broader institutional goals of encouraging civic engagement among students and increasing outreach to local communities.
The College of Coastal Georgia’s Center for Service-Learning annually hosts the Service-Learning Symposium that is open to the public. The event highlights service-learning partnerships and projects completed over the past academic year. The Symposium creates opportunities for students, faculty members, and community partners to engage in dialogue about service-learning and other experiential forms of learning.
2023 Service-Learning Symposium Schedule
April 27, 2023
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Excellence in Service-Learning Awards Ceremony
The Symposium includes a Poster Showcase and an Excellence in Service-Learning Award Ceremony. The Poster Showcase provides an opportunity for students to reflect and engage in dialogue centered on their service-learning experience. The event also allows the community, faculty, and students to explore opportunities for collaboration, networking, and even career paths for students. The community is able to see the impact of a broad spectrum of service-learning and research activities that engage students and faculty in addressing community needs.
The Excellence in Service-Learning Award Ceremony recognizes outstanding students, faculty and community partners in their commitment to service-learning during the previous academic year. Nominations for the awards are gathered from students, faculty members, Deans, and Department Chairs. Check out the webpages below to see poster and presentation examples, as well as previous Excellence in Service-Leaning winners.
The Center for Service-Learning invites you to explore our Service-Learning Project Archive which highlights the wonderful work our faculty and students are doing in collaboration with our community partner agencies.
Service-learning courses are possibly some of the most meaningful courses that you will take in your academic career. Education through these courses will help you apply the knowledge that you have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. The Center for Service- Learning can help you find opportunities on campus as well as in the community. Our door is always open if you would like to meet with us or discuss possible service-learning courses. We encourage the students of the College to be as involved and active in their education as possible. We can be found in the Correll Center for Teacher Education and Learning on the first floor, in suite 112A.
Our goal is help you Serve, Learn, and Succeed!
Participation in service-learning courses provides students with outstanding academic and career benefits that include:
Personal & Professional Growth
Remember, the Center for Service-Learning is here to help! We can answer any questions you may have, provide resources or examples, help brainstorm ideas of how to integrate service-learning into the classroom, help find potential community partners and projects, and really anything that relates to service-learning or civic engagement here at the College. You can reach us at: ServiceLearning@ccga.edu or by phone at 912.279.5963.
Service-Learning Scholars Program
The Service-Learning Scholars Workshop provides the opportunity for a select cohort of College of Coastal Georgia faculty to engage in dialogue about student-centered, experiential education that promotes academic learning while serving genuine community needs. The intensive two-week workshop series, facilitated by the Director of Service-Learning, is designed to deepen faculty participants’ understanding of service-learning and guide them as they integrate S-L into their course curriculum and pedagogy. Foundational information on service-learning and community partnership building is covered through discussion, online reading modules, and veteran service-learning faculty member presentations. Participating faculty commit to incorporating service-learning into at least one new or existing course within an academic year.
If you have questions or comments about the program, please feel free to contact the Center for Service-Learning at ServiceLearning@ccga.edu.
Faculty can benefit personally and professionally from integrating service-learning into courses. Teaching with service-learning can give faculty the opportunity to:
Definition of a Community Partner
Service-learning is premised on the idea of partnerships of mutual benefit, where community organizations, the college’s faculty, and students work together to identify problems and interventions in the community. A service-learning approach views the community not simply as a teaching laboratory but an equal partner. Therefore, equal emphasis is placed on promoting student learning and addressing community needs. It is expected that community partner organizations will collaborate in the design of the service-learning project and provide feedback on the effectiveness of partnership activities.
What do service-learning partnerships look like?
Service-learning partnerships can take on a variety of forms. What’s important is that the student’s project(s)/placement(s) are determined through a discussion that considers and balances your agency’s needs, the academic course goals and objectives, and student interests in service.
Areas of service may include the following:
Why Participate in Service-Learning with the College of Coastal Georgia?
Staff members at community organizations may have various reasons for welcoming service-learning collaborations, including:
The Community Partner Clearinghouse is a resource to promote College-community partnerships.