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Service Learning

Here at Clarke University, we encourage faculty members to incorporate service learning into their curriculum.

What is Service Learning?

Service learning is about a reciprocal relationship. The gains from a service learning experience are not be exclusive to one party in the relationship. All the parties involved need to benefit from the service learning experience in order for it to be an effective sand positive. Below are various resources to help you navigate understanding service learning.

Sometimes the definition of service learning can vary from institution to institution, which can lead to confusion at times. In an attempt to resolve this issue, Robert Sigmon created a varied of definition for service learning, varying them by using different typology.


Not all volunteer is considered service learning. Some differences exist between service learning and community service.

Differences Between Service Learning and Community Service

Service Learning

  • Connects theory with practice while making an impact on one’s community.
  • Directly related to the course learning outcomes.
  • Has to have a reflection component.
  • Faculty member does a majority of the planning.
  • Coincides with Clarke University calendar.
  • Must work with a community agency that goals meets that of the course.

Community Service

  • Primarily focuses on the task at hand.
  • Can have the experience without a reflection component.
  • Students do a majority of the planning.
  • Not tied to academic calendar in any way.
  • Freedom to work with any community agency.