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Engagement and Service-Learning: Benefits and Essential Strategies Barbara A. Holland, Ph.D. Senior Scholar, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis.

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Presentation on theme: "Engagement and Service-Learning: Benefits and Essential Strategies Barbara A. Holland, Ph.D. Senior Scholar, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engagement and Service-Learning: Benefits and Essential Strategies Barbara A. Holland, Ph.D. Senior Scholar, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis

2 Successful 21 st Century Institutions must be: Intentional Coherent Focused Integrated Responsive Autonomous in a context of mission-based accountability Driven by shared governance across stakeholders – more democratic

3 Engagement and Higher Education Engagement aligns the intellectual assets (knowledge generation and dissemination) of the institution with public issues and questions as a way of strengthening teaching/research and the communitys capacity. Recognizes interdependent knowledge relationships – The nexus of intellectual, political, social, cultural, economic needs and assets

4 The Benefits of Engagement Response to accountability pressures Counteract the overly-vocational focus of students Improve town-gown relations Improve shared governance Recruitment, retention of faculty and students Better learning; needs of contemporary students New forms and modes of research including undergraduate research New streams of revenue; donor involvement

5 Incentives and Reputational Factors are Changing Incorporation of engagement into regional accreditation processes Federal research funding criteria Potential for state support (e.g.,VA, KY) Introduction into classifications/rankings-Carnegie and US News & World Report International commitment to engagement Student demand for service-learning Evidence of impact on student outcomes

6 Higher Ed Service-Learning Stats More than a third of postsecondary instit. Half of all community colleges 29% of students in SL (Compact members) Most SL focuses on tutoring/mentoring youth, health, environment, social issues Most partnerships are with non-profit organizations or schools

7 SL in Schools 69% of schools engaged students in service Approx 15 million students involved in SL Profound impact on academic achievement, school climate, student engagement Effects greater for students from low SES Maryland requires SL in all schools HS graduates look for SL in college

8 International Service-learning South Africa, India, Phillipines, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway…. 9 nations at SL Research Conference Greater emphasis on student voice Similar goals to US, plus nation-bldg, development of philanthropy, service, NGO sector, cross-cultural understanding

9 Overall Impacts of Engagement Service-Learning is spreading across K-20 Engagement is diversifying postsecondary institutions Global interest is making engagement a core element of research excellence and institutional reputation/prestige Engaged learning matches the new student Engagement is building awareness of the role of higher education in creating public good Challenges of quality design and practice remain!

10 Service-Learning: Combines service activities and learning objectives with the intent that the activity benefit both the recipient and the provider. This is accomplished by linking learning to community-based tasks supported by structured reflections and guided explorations of related aspects of knowledge, skills and values.

11 Service-Learning Quality Academic credit for learning, not service Rigorous and specific learning objectives Structured reflection on both learning and service outcomes Thorough orientation of students Community involvement in design; clear roles and responsibilities A collaborative approach to teaching

12 Service-Learning Challenges Definitions, stereotypes, perceptions – The problem with the S word Setting clear and specific goals –For student learning –For community benefit Coherence across curricular and co-curricular service-learning; logic of the learning experience –How much? Where in curr? To what end? Documentation/measurement of impacts Visibility – internal and external

13 K12 SL Research Findings More control group studies Measurement of elements of SL on outcomes –#1 Duration – at least a semester –#2 Directness of community involvement –#3 Cognitively challenging activity and reflection The more responsibility, autonomy and choice students have – the greater the effects (Billig, 2005)

14 Higher Ed SL Research Findings Increases retention and progress-to-degree; aligns with needs of the new student body Makes learning relevant, effective, transforming Influences career and course of study Develops social responsibility, multicultural understanding and leadership Encourages students to be active in campus and community life Must be integrated into courses, major/gen ed

15 Improved higher order thinking skills; analysis, understanding complex problems Civic responsibility, citizenship Commitment to service Career awareness/skills – awareness of options, clarity of choice, technical skills Personal outcomes – self-esteem, empowerment Social outcomes – pro-social behaviors, reduction of risky behaviors Other Research Findings

16 Summary of SL Effects on Learning Service- Learning Academic Outcomes Self-esteem Empowerment Prosocial behaviors Motivation Engagement Clearly defined programmatic features Mediating Factors

17 Successful Strategies Discuss graduate attributes and learning objectives Create a plan or pathway for service-learning Invest in faculty development; incentives Recognize diverse approaches; start with trial courses and interested faculty Create supportive infrastructure Sustain partnerships relationships Document and evaluate process and outcomes Collaborate with other institutions; peer exchange; build on existing good practices and literature

18 Trends in Service-Learning Attention to explicit learning goals Service-learning and diversity Greater involvement of partners as teachers International service-learning – here and abroad Service-learning in teacher preparation Graduate service-learning Service-learning capstones, minors, 1 st Yr. SL and undergraduate research

19 Students and Engaged Research Duke: Research service-learning courses involve students and faculty in research on community-identified needs. Similar programs: BrownCornell GeorgetownHarvard PrincetonMinnesota MichiganWisconsin

20 Resources Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning ( –SL Course Design Workbook Campus Compact Introduction to SL Toolkit ( Community-Campus Partnerships for Health International Service-Learning Research Conference International Partnership for Service-Learning American Association of Community Colleges – Horizons American Association of State Colleges and Universities – American Democracy Project; Stewardship of Place Conference on Service-Learning at Faith-based Colleges and Universities ( National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (

21 Contact Information Barbara A. Holland, Ph.D. Senior Scholar Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Phone: 503-638-9424

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