Service Learning Program
Service learning is the integration of community engagement projects with student learning to provide real-world experiences that foster cultural and classroom understanding, critical thinking and civic responsibility.
The Service Learning Program supports Wake Tech’s mission by offering students opportunities to learn and apply skills in real-world settings while establishing lasting partnerships in their communities.
The program promotes Wake Tech’s core values by fostering a sense of accountability to the community, respect for those served and responsibility for using knowledge to help others and by encouraging critical thinking about one's life experiences, communication with others about shared goals and collaboration to identify and address common problems.
All Wake Tech students who are in academic good standing are eligible to participate in service-learning opportunities, provided their courses offer that option and they meet any pre-service requirements. Students can check their course syllabus or contact their instructor to find out if a course offers service-learning opportunities. If not, students can request this option, and program coordinators are happy to help.
- Faculty members approve service-learning opportunities that align with at least one student learning outcome for a course and assign a reflection activity.
- Students commit to completing 10 hours of community service outside class followed by a reflection assignment determined by the instructor. Upon completion, they receive a transcript designation indicating that they met service-learning requirements for that semester.
- Community partners or groups within Wake Tech receive valuable assistance from students and benefit from collaboration with Wake Tech. A service project on campus strengthens our Wake Tech community.
Service Learning outcomes
- Provides substantive service to a group in their local communities
- Contributes to one or more of the student learning outcomes established for the course
- Instills or reinforces a sense of commitment to the community
- Encourages students to reflect on their own roles in addressing community needs and how they relate to classroom content
Benefits of participation
Service learning provides the following benefits for faculty:
- Encourages interactive teaching methods and reciprocal learning between students and faculty
- Promotes active learning and engages students with different learning styles
- Helps students achieve core competencies and student learning outcomes for the course
- Develops students' civic and leadership skills
- Attracts highly motivated and engaged students
- Adds insights and dimensions to class discussions
- Provides networking opportunities among faculty in different disciplines
- Fosters relationships between faculty and community organizations, opening other opportunities for collaborative work
- Provides firsthand knowledge of community issues and opportunities to be more involved
Service learning provides the following academic, professional and personal benefits for students:
- Increases understanding of a subject
- Gain hands-on experience, with potential for future internships or employment
- Gain a Service Learning distinction to add to the resume (and official notation on the college transcript to help stand out on transfer applications)
- Develops and enhances skills in communication, collaboration and leadership
- Explore or cements values and beliefs
- Have opportunities to act on values and beliefs
- Develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Grow to understand the diversity of cultures and communities
- Learn more about social issues and their root causes
- Improves ability to handle ambiguity and be open to change – become more flexible
- Apply skills, interests and values to potential career pathways or learn more about certain fields
- Connect with professionals and community members to learn from them
- Build a professional network for future internship and employment opportunities
Community partners in service learning can benefit in the following ways:
- Gaining additional human resources for reaching organizational goals
- Utilizing the skills of educated college volunteers
- Injecting new energy, enthusiasm and perspectives into the organization
- Expanding the volunteer pool
- Increasing public awareness of key issues
- Reaching out to youth, educating them about community issues and correcting any misconceptions
- Helping to prepare today's students to be tomorrow's civic leaders
- Networking with colleagues in other organizations and agencies
- Identifying and accessing faculty, students and staff
If you are a student or faculty member interested in doing service learning, email a Service Learning coordinator:
- Wendy Johnson at [email protected]
- Traci Rowe at [email protected]
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