Center for Academic Service-Learning

Elements of High Quality Service-Learning

1. Integrated Learning

  • The service learning component has clearly articulated knowledge, skill, or value goals that arise from the broader classroom and school goals.
  • The service informs the academic learning content, and the academic learning content informs the service.
  • Life skills learned outside the classroom are integrated back into classroom learning.

2. Quality Service

  • The service responds to an actual community need that is recognized by the community.
  • The service is student-appropriate and well organized.
  • The service is designed to achieve significant benefits for students and the community.

3. Collaboration

  • The service learning component is a collaboration among as many partners as is feasible: students, community-based organization staff, school administrators, teachers, and recipients of service.
  • All partners benefit from the service component and contribute to its planning.

4. Student Voice

  • Students participate actively in the reflection sessions, evaluations, and celebrations; take on roles appropriate for their maturity and commitment level.

5. Civic Responsibility

  • The service learning project promotes students' responsibility to care for others and contribute to the community.
  • By participating in the service learning component, students understand how they can impact their community.

6. Reflection

  • Reflection establishes the connections between the students' service experiences and the academic curriculum.
  • Reflection occurs before, during, and after the service experience.

7. Evaluation

  • All partners are involved in evaluating the service learning project.
  • The evaluation seeks to measure progress toward the learning and service goals.

8. Celebration