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Note to Faculty and Staff Members: The Office of Community Engagement, Service Learning Advisory Board and the provost-appointed Service Learning and Civic Engagement Liaison work hard to provide you with excellent resources and training opportunities. Contact us with any questions or for more information.

Benefits Resources Contacts

What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a pedagogy that exposes students to the needs of the larger society by combining service with explicit learning objectives and deliberate reflection, giving equal benefits to both the provider of the service and the recipient to ensure equal focus on both the service being provided and the learning that is occurring.

How does service learning differentiate from volunteering?

  • Service learning is academically based. Students receive course credit for service completed.
  • Students apply classroom knowledge to the community project they are given and, in turn, gain experience in the work place, as well as a sense of civic responsibility.
  • Students may be asked to complete a journal, paper or give a presentation on the experience.

Benefits of Service Learning

Benefits to Faculty and Students

  • Enriches student learning of course material and brings books to life
  • Engages students in active learning that demonstrates the relevance and importance of academic work for their life experience and career choices
  • Increases awareness of current societal issues as they relate to academic areas of interest
  • Broadens perspectives of diversity issues and enhances critical thinking skills
  • Improves interpersonal skills that are increasingly viewed as important skills in achieving success in professional and personal environments
  • Develops civic responsibility through active community involvement

Benefits to the Community

  • Provides substantial human resources to meet educational, human, safety and environmental needs of local communities
  • Allows the energy and enthusiasm of college students to contribute for meeting needs
  • Fosters an ethic of service and participation in students who will be tomorrow’s volunteers and civic leaders
  • Creates potential for additional partnerships with faculty and increased collaboration with the campus
  • Provides opportunities to be co-educators

Organizations and Resources

External Resources

Oklahoma Campus Compact - A local resource for all things community and civic engagement.  Oklahoma Campus Compact is an office of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

Campus Compact - National Organization for Civic Engagement and Service Learning

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse - Nationwide organization offering publication and resources over service learning

Corporation for National and Community Service - The federal agency that leads service, volunteering and grantmaking efforts in the United States. They help millions of Americans improve their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens through service

Weber State University Center for Community Engaged Learning* - A national leader in community-engaged learning, Weber State in Ogden, Utah, is a metropolitan institution much like UCO.

*Includes a great service learning toolkit for faculty 

UCO Resources

Service Learning Scholars, offered by the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning (CETTL)

Training offered through the Office of Community Engagement and the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Faculty Liaison each academic year

Service Learning Contacts

The Service Learning Advisory Board understands that service learning plays an important role in the education of UCO students. The information found throughout the service learning section of our website provides a starting point for a faculty or staff member looking to include this component in their classroom. Please take a moment to review what we have to offer.  If you have questions or need clarification, please reach out to us.

Christy Vincent, Ph.D., Service Learning and Civic Engagement Faculty Liaison

Nicole Doherty, Director, Community Engagement

For questions or more information about service learning, email Community Engagement or call 405-974-2623.