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Service-Learning

About Service-Learning

UCF defines service-learning as "a teaching method that uses community involvement to apply theories or skills being taught in a course. Service-Learning furthers the learning objectives of the academic course, addresses community needs, and requires students to reflect on their activity in order to gain an appreciation for the relationship between civics and academics."

Service-Learning is part of the UCF initiative to provide a means for every student to enhance their academic program with experiential learning opportunities. As a teaching method, service-learning enables students to take academics out of the classroom and into the community in an effort to promote civic engagement. By working with community partners such as non-profit organizations, public schools, government agencies, campus groups, or businesses with specifically philanthropic missions, students develop skills and knowledge that will help them to become civically responsible members of the community.

Service-Learning is a reciprocal process that involves faculty, students, and the community. Faculty members reinvigorate teaching by engaging students in academic and social concerns. Students connect theory to practice and foster civic responsibility by developing a relationship with like-minded community partners. The community receives an infusion of people power and access to university resources enabling them to explore new ideas and generate energy in community agencies.

How to Register for a Service-Learning Course
To participate in service-learning at UCF, all you need to do is register for a course designated as service-learning.
To do this, use the Class Search tool in MyUCF. In the Special Course Groups field, select service-learning. You will see a list of S-L courses offered that semester. Choose one and register for it. It's that easy!

Essential Elements of Service-Learning

Reciprocity

The service and learning must be worthwhile for both the student and the community. There must be reciprocity between the server and those served.

Reflection

Intentional, systematic reflection of the experience must take place in order to thoughtfully connect the service-learning experience with the assigned curriculum. Reflection is what transforms experiences into learning.

Development

Service-Learning occurs in different stages: servicing to enabling to empowering; observation to experience to leadership.

Meaningful Service

Service tasks need to be worthwhile and challenging in order to strengthen student's critical thinking while fostering civic responsibility.

Diversity

A priority is placed on involving a broad cross-section of students working in a diverse setting and with a diverse population within the community.

Advisory Boards/Committees
Service-Learning Executive Board
  • Melody Bowdon
  • Associate Dean, College of Undergraduate Studies
  • Executive Director, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Professor
  • Department of Writing & Rhetoric
  • College of Arts & Humanities
  • Jason Jude Smith
  • Director, Office of Experiential Learning
  • College of Undergraduate Studies
  • Jeffrey Kaplan
  • Professor Emeritus
  • School of Teaching, Learning & Leadership
  • College of Education and Human Performance
  • Rick Schell
  • Vice-President and Chief of Staff
  • Professor
  • Department of English
  • College of Arts & Humanities
  • Blake Scott
  • Associate Chair and Director of Degree Programs, Writing & Rhetoric Professor
  • Department of Writing & Rhetoric
  • College of Arts & Humanities Department of Writing & Rhetoric
  • Terry Thaxton
  • Program Director, MFA in Creative Writing
  • Director, The Literary Arts Partnership
  • Professor
  • Department of English
  • College of Arts & Humanities
  • Dale Whittaker
  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Professor
  • Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering
  • College of Sciences
  • Diane Wink
  • Professor Emerita
  • College of Nursing
  • Amy Zeh
  • Program Director, Service-Learning
  • Associate Director, Office of Experiential Learning
  • College of Undergraduate Studies
Service-Learning Civic Advisory Board
  • Robert Brown
  • President and CEO
  • Heart of Florida United Way
  • Jody Scott
  • Clinical Director
  • Center for Drug Free Living
  • Pamela Carson
  • Senior Manager, Community Resources
  • Orange County Public Schools
  • Wayne Gardner
  • Senior Director, Stepping Stone
  • Seniors First
  • Brent Trotter
  • President and CEO
  • Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
  • Rosie Wilder
  • Wish Program Director
  • New Hope for Kids
  • Greg Zbylut
  • Executive Director
  • Boys Town of Central Florida
Service-Learning Course Criteria and Certificate
Service-Learning course criteria

The basic criteria for designation as a service-learning course at UCF are that it include student experiences which:

  1. address a need in the community (campus, local, regional, global)
  2. meet course objectives
  3. involve reciprocity between course and community that results in students' increase in civic awareness and engagement
  4. involve structured student reflection
  5. involve collaboration with an appropriate agency representative
  6. involve at least 15 hours of student service with the community agency

Service-Learning Mission Statement

The University of Central Florida will be recognized as a preeminent service-learning university, where the limitless potential inspired by academic exploration is amplified through community-based research, social involvement, and reciprocal partnerships. UCF will pioneer new applications of service-learning capable of enriching individual lives, fostering sustained civic engagement, and making a difference in the world.[a1]

UCF defines service-learning as "a teaching method that uses community involvement to apply theories or skills being taught in a course. Service-Learning furthers the learning objectives of the academic course, addresses community needs, and requires students to reflect on their activity in order to gain an appreciation for the relationship between civics and academics."

Service-Learning is part of the UCF initiative to provide a means for every student to enhance their academic program with experiential learning opportunities. As a teaching method, service-learning enables students to take academics out of the classroom and into the community in an effort to promote civic engagement. By working with community partners such as non-profit organizations, public schools, government agencies, campus groups, or businesses with specifically philanthropic missions, students develop skills and knowledge that will help them to become civically responsible members of the community.

Service-Learning is a reciprocal process that involves faculty, students, and the community. Faculty members reinvigorate teaching by engaging students in academic and social concerns. Students connect theory to practice and foster civic responsibility by developing a relationship with like-minded community partners. The community receives an infusion of people power and access to university resources enabling them to explore new ideas and generate energy in community agencies.


Service-Learning Certificate

The certificate program in service-learning is designed for students in any discipline who seek to engage in a reflective analysis of community service as it relates to academic course work. Service-Learning is an established and well-tested teaching method that uses a community setting as a living laboratory in which students apply theories or skills taught in traditional classrooms to real-world environments. Service-Learning furthers the learning objectives of the academic course, addresses community needs, and requires students to reflect on their activity in order to gain an appreciation for the relationship between civics and academics. Through Service-Learning (SL) courses, students develop academic skills, civic responsibility, and career opportunities. This certificate is open to all graduate and undergraduate students in any major.

Credit Hour/Course Requirements

12 hours and/or 4 UCF approved SL courses. Students may choose any of the UCF-approved service-learning courses in any discipline to satisfy the credit hour requirements. Service-Learning courses are designated with an "SL" and can be accessed under "special groups" in the class schedule. If you are involved in a service-learning course that has not been approved, please contact the Office of Experiential Learning to discuss your eligibility for the certificate.

Other Requirements

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.5 in UCF-approved SL classes
  2. Minimum of 60 community service hours in UCF-approved SL classes

Students who are eligible to receive the Service-Learning Certificate must apply for it when they file their intent to graduate form the semester prior to graduation.

Questions? Not certain if your course work is "SL" designated? Please contact Amy Zeh, Program Director, Service-Learning at UCF 407-823-4395 or Amy.Zeh@ucf.edu

Publication Venues for Students
Service-Learning Publication Venues for Students

Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research which is generously funded by Penn State Berks, is a refereed, multidisciplinary, online undergraduate journal that will advance knowledge in new scholarly arenas by presenting intellectual and reflective work by undergraduates.

The Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research adds to the increasing number of scholarly journals that invite undergraduates to pursue their own intellectual projects. We seek undergraduate contributions to the burgeoning academic conversation on Service-Learning and community-based research.

The Undergraduate Journal of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research is open to undergraduate students in the U.S. and across the globe in all subject areas. All submissions will undergo a rigorous review process.

http://berks.psu.edu/undergraduate-journal

The International Undergraduate Journal for Service-Learning, Leadership, and Social Change, housed at Columbia College in South Carolina, only accepts articles from undergraduate students. The Journal considers three types of articles:

  1. Articles that discuss the development of a service-learning project and the impact of the project on the community served;
  2. A case study of a service-learning project;
  3. A reflection on service-learning and the development of personal leadership.

http://www.columbiasc.edu/service-learning-journal

Reflections, a peer reviewed journal, provides a forum for scholarship on civic writing, service-learning and public rhetoric. Originally founded as a venue for teachers, researchers, students and community partners to share research and discuss the theoretical, political and ethical implications of community-based writing and writing instruction, Reflections publishes a lively collection of essays, empirical studies, community writing, student work, interviews and reviews in a format that brings together emerging scholars and leaders in the fields of community-based writing and civic engagement.

http://reflectionsjournal.net/

Publication Venues for Faculty
Publications

Please click here for Publication Venues for Faculty.

Download 2016-2017 Service-Learning courses list Service-Learning Courses