This guide provides a variety of information and resources related to Service Learning for faculty, staff, students, and community members. Resources are in various forms, including books, reports, articles, databases and websites.
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This page provides information for these questions:
Other pages provide more resources and also answer these questions:
The College of Public Health’s Office of Community Engaged Research and Practice (CERP) partnered with Temple University Libraries to create this resource guide. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Service Learning and Community Engagement, placement and best practices at the College of Public Health.
For support creating or enhancing Service Learning courses, please submit this CPH form: Service-Learning Support Request.
Service Learning is a concept that has been described in many different ways by scholars, advocates, service providers, funders, and policy makers. Although worded differently, definitions of service learning share three common elements: learning, service and community.
Within the context of the university and degree programs, Temple University College of Public Health uses this working definition of Service Learning:
"A course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students
(a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and
(b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility” (Bringle & Hatcher, 1995, p. 112).
This definition is aligned with the statutory definition of service-learning and the often cited definition from the Carnegie Foundation:
"Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities."
The Background and Reference page of this guide includes a definition of "community engagement" and a statutory definition of "service learning". The controlled vocabulary for cataloging and indexing sources and related terms are suggested on the Research/Publishing page.
1. Academic Achievement and Educational Success: Increased . . .
2. Civic Knowledge and Skills: Increased . . .
3. Personal Development: Increased . . .
4. Social and Interpersonal Development: Improved . . .
5. Career Development: More/improved . . .
Sources: Adapted from AmeriCorps (2022) and Roehlkepartain (2007) (cited below). Additional sources on benefits are listed below and on the Outcome and Impact page of this guide.
Some of the challenges to service learning that have been discussed in the literature and by practitioners, along with potential solutions, include:
Select readings on challenges are included below. For more information and resources, visit the Practicing Service Learning page of this guide.