Service Learning in Higher Education: Developing Campus and Community Partnership through Long-Term Service Learning Projects
While service-learning as a pedagogy may not be new in the field of higher education, its potential for creating sustainable community-campus partnerships has brought about a renewed emphasis on the pedagogy, theory and practice. Service-learning experiences promote civic and community engagement while enhancing academic performance and course connections. In practice, service-learning advances the academic goals for undergraduate courses through collaboration, critical reflection, and reciprocal relationships. Examination of a current undergraduate service-learning course reveals essential elements of successful implementation, as well as barriers that may be faced by adjunct faculty in a variety of academic fields. Through mechanisms of feedback and critical reflection within the classroom, necessary design features can be distilled for truly intentional and effective service-learning opportunities for faculty, students, and community partners alike. Four key elements to be explored for intentional service-learning implementation are clarity, feedback, accountability, and evaluation. These crucial elements of service-learning design and implementation can provide guidance for part-time, adjunct faculty members with the desire to utilize this pedagogy in the classroom and the broader community.
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