Why should I take a class that includes Service Learning?
Service Learning classes and/or projects create a valuable learning experience where students can learn more about the curriculum being taught in the specific course as well as a community organization/agency and the needs that the agency is seeking to meet within the community. For example, when a student works with the Edmond Hope Center, they will learn about the particular mission of the organization, the unique services that are provided through the center as well as the specific needs that the Hope Center is seeking to meet within Edmond. By extension, the student will also learn more about Edmond and about Oklahoma and will hopefully be inspired to be involved in the community while he/she is a student at UCO. Similarly, we hope that Service Learning experiences inspire students to be involved in their respective communities after graduation.
What will I learn from a Service Learning experience?
You may learn more about yourself and your particular passions/likes/dislikes and you also might learn about working with people who are different from yourself. You should learn about the community organization with which you are working and the important needs that the organization is meeting within our community. You should also learn specific things related to the class for which you are doing the project. For example, if you are taking a nursing course and you do a Service Learning project, you should learn something about nursing as it applies to a particular setting/organization.
Who benefits from Service Learning experiences?
Everyone typically benefits. You get to apply your classroom knowledge as well as gain a deeper understanding about this particular subject/class. You also get the wonderful feeling of having given to someone who has a need. The organization that you are serving also benefits. Typically, service organizations do not have large budgets and are often understaffed. When excited learners join the organization to complete a specific project, it brings new energy and ideas to the organization. Your faculty member also benefits because he/she has the privilege of seeing you apply your learning and also reflect on the meaning/significance of your learning.
How can I document my Service Learning hours?
The Volunteer and Service Learning Center has a system for logging service hours of all kinds, including Service Learning time. You can go to http://www.uco.edu/student-affairs/vslc/Hours%20and%20trsncript.asp and enter your information in order to log your hours. Please contact us at ext. 2621 if you have any questions. You can also request a Service Transcript that documents a summary of your service hours while you have been enrolled at UCO.