Service-learning combines academic study with service in the community. Throughout the project guided critical and reflective thinking helps students link experience with theory to deepen their understanding and their ability to use what they learned. Students are expected to keep a reflective journal and summarize what they learned at the end of the project in the form of a journal, paper, portfolio or formal presentation.
At UT, you can engage in service-learning for non-credit as a co-curricular community service experience and also for-credit as a component of select academic courses. International community-based service-learning opportunities are also available.
For the past two years, UT was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for distinguished community service. It is one of the highest federal recognitions a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
Types of service-learning projects vary depending on the course or your individual interests:
Direct Service -Provide service directly to the clients of a community-based organization. This may include tutoring in an after school program, assisting elderly and economically disadvantaged individuals,working with refugees, etc.
Indirect Service - Serve at an organization without first-hand contact with the recipients. This includes providing administrative assistance, developing fundraising programs, creating marketing plans, participating in painting/construction projects, etc.
Advocacy - Take civic action by educating the public about particular issues in order to change or eliminate misunderstandings about culture/differences.
Here are just a few examples of academic service-learning opportunities at UT:
- PSY 210: Students are required to choose a nonprofit organization where they volunteer with children throughout the term. At the end of the project, students respond to eight questions and create a portfolio highlighting their work.
- CRIM 499: Criminology's senior capstone course, students create presentations or programs for women housed at nonprofits and students detained in a juvenile detention center.
- NUR 422: Students provide culturally competent care to individuals, families and groups in a variety of community agencies.
- ACC 099: Accounting majors fulfill a 30-hour service requirement through the VITA tax assistance program, the accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi, and other accounting and business organizations.
- SOC 302: Students can participate in service learning with an organization that services the elderly. Students consider the social issues associated with physical aging and link them back to their text and class lectures.
- GWA 492: A Government, History and Sociology department professor developed a community-based project that will culminate in a faculty-led trip to Ghana. Students study a wide range of development projects and implement them during the trip to Ghana.
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