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Using Service Learning in my Course

  • Common Methods: Incorporating service-learning (S-L) into a class takes many shapes and forms.
    • Extra Credit
    • Mandatory
  • Types of Service: when deciding how to incorporate S-L into your course, consider the different ways students could be involved in the community.
    • Direct – actual interaction with the people, environment, and/or animals
      • Caring for dogs at an animal shelter, tutoring children, performing income tax assistance
    • Indirect – action is not seen by the people who may benefit from the service, but it meets a real need.
      • Collecting clothes for a domestic violence shelter, doing a beach clean-up, collecting books for a library.
    • Advocacy – action that causes others to be aware of an issue and encourages them to take action.
      • Writing letters, working on a political campaign, speaking at a hall meeting.
    • Research – gathering and reporting information that helps a community or a campaign.
      • Surveying neighborhoods on an issue, testing water quality, veteran interviews.
  • Use the PARE model: to insure your S-L will be complete and beneficial to all parties.
    • Preparation (includes research) – Students study an issue or set of issues, analyze community needs, and create an action plan for applying course objectives to meet those needs
    • Action – Students complete the service with a community nonprofit agency
    • Reflection – Students reflect on how the experience, knowledge, and skills they've acquired relate to their lives and career aspirations.  Students must attempt to place this experience in a broader context, challenge initial assumptions, and connect with the academic material.
    • Evaluation – Students demonstrate what they've learned through their direct service experience and reflection.  Examples include a presentation, journal, essay, or portfolio.
  • Important Logistical Steps: discuss the following with the S-L coordinator or director at your campus.
    • Offer a S-L presentation to your students at the beginning of the semester.
    • Discuss with S-L coordinator and class how paperwork will be collected (by professor first or directly to the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy) when completed.
    • Understand the deadlines and paperwork students must meet and complete.

Please contact your campus' iCED office for a consultation on how to incorporate S-L into your specific course and to begin forming a partnership with a community agency or developing curriculum-based around a critical community issue.

View Course Development Worksheet as a guide to incorporating Service Learning into your curriculum.




Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.