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Special Academic Opportunities

Service Learning

Service learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience that allows students to participate in an organized service activity designed in active collaboration with the community to address community-identified pressing social or community concerns. Through reflection on their community experience, students deepen their understanding of course content, broaden their appreciation of the discipline, and develop an enhanced sense of personal and professional values and civic responsibility.

For example, students in a writing course may complete a writing project with a not-for-profit agency as part of their coursework, or students in environmental science may participate in a wetlands planting project. Students in an introductory psychology course may read with children in a local elementary school, or sociology students may co-develop a survey with community groups designed to gain input from residents in an underserved neighborhood that informs the creation of a quality of life.

Service learning provides an opportunity for students to be actively involved in the learning process and to develop out-of-class mentoring relationships with faculty, staff, and community partners. Service learning, and other forms of community-engaged learning, help students to clarify their career goals and hone their critical thinking, creativity, integrative reasoning, and leadership skills, as well as strengthen their ability to communicate effectively with others they perceive as different from themselves.

A wide range of service learning courses are offered at IUPUI.  These courses span the undergraduate, graduate, and professionals levels of the curriculum and may occur in both domestic and international settings. Courses officially designated as service learning courses may be found on the registrar’s website. Please note that many faculty who teach using service learning may elect to not have their courses tagged as service learning with the registrar. To find out about untagged courses, it is useful to consult with the department or school that offers the course of interest.  For those seeking information on international service learning programs, detailed information is available on the Office of International Affairs website.  For general information on service learning, contact the Center for Service and Learning in Hine Hall, Suite 243, or at (317) 278-2662.