Skip navigation

Center for Community Engagement

About USM Service-Learning

 

The CCE promotes and supports service-learning classes on USM's campus.

Service-learning addresses critical community needs. reinforces course content, and increases student engagement. Its academic context inside a classroom enriches students' service experiences by raising questions about real-world concerns and promoting critical thinking about civic responsibility.

The basic criteria for a service-learning course are that:

  • service supports the attainment of one or more academic course objectives
  • service addresses a community-identified (local, regional, global) need
  • learning involves structured student reflection on the service experience and its relation to course goals and/or the academic discipline
  • learning involves reciprocity between course and community that has the potential to result in students' enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility
  • service contribution is a minimum of 15 hours, which may consist of planning a project, producing a product, or serving at a site

USM's definition of service-learning comes from Robert Bringle & Julie Hatcher, who define it is a “course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle and Hatcher, 1995, p. 112). By design, the criteria for USM service-learning classes align closely with the language of this definition.

Service-learning partners usually include nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies, PK- 12 schools, or the philanthropic arm of a for-profit organization. The experiences should be designed to meet both student and community partner needs, which often means that co-ops, internships, and/or clinical practicums designed solely for student benefit are not considered service-learning.
 

Faculty or community partners interested in learning more about service-learning should contact Christy Arrazattee at christy.arrazattee@usm.edu or 6-6467. 

Contact Us

Center for Community Engagement
104 The Hub
118 College Dr. #5211

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
ccceFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.5074