Teaching through service-learning and community engagement provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and to make personal connections to the content of a course. Students become  engaged with the learning process when active learning strategies are employed (Hatcher, Bringle, & Muthiah, 2002). Thinking through the purpose of community collaboration, forms of engagement, and desired student learning outcomes faculty clarify the many decisions they make in creating or revising a course with community connections. Service-learning is a teaching method where students learn and develop through thoughtfully-organized service that meets the needs of a community and is coordinated with an institution of higher education and the community. 

The Office for Community Engagement works with faculty in many ways. Two of those is through the Institute for Learning and Teaching Excellence (ILTE) and the Faculty Academy in Excellence in Teaching (FACET) to assist faculty in developing, teaching and assessment of courses with a service-learning component. Such courses will have a special designation in the course catalogue. Faculty cam receive professional development about this high-impact practice at IUS, local and national conferences. Service-learning faculty Fellows select by FACET, who are expanding and improving service-learning activities in their courses, will serve as mentors for other faculty interested in learning more about this pedagogy. The journals and publications listing below provide additional resources for learning about service-learning.

Service-Learning Faculty Fellows at IU Southeast

Debbie Mink – School of Education
Randy Hunt – School of Natural Science
Lucinda Woodard – School of Social Science
Kok Cheow Yeoh – School of Arts & Letters


The number of courses using service-learning as a pedagogy in higher education has increased over the last 20 years. High-quality research on the pedagogy has not kept pace with the implementation of this practice. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations and resources working to assist interested persons in their research on service-learning such as Campus Compact and the Learn and Serve American’s National Service-learning Clearing House among others. The Office for Community Engagement provides a list of these resources to assist faculty in developing their research agenda on service-learning. ILTE offers an annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference with sessions on scholarship and teaching service-learning. The IUPUI Research Academy is an interactive summer workshop to develop skills, learn about methods and literature, develop a research project, and advance research related to service and learning in higher education. Information about this academy can be found at the IUPUI Research Academy webpage.


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