Service-learning combines academic study with service in the community. Guided critical and reflective thinking throughout the project helps you link experience with theory and deepens your understanding and ability to use what you know. You will be expected to keep a reflective journal and summarize what you 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-credit as a component of select academic courses and for non-credit as a co-curricular community service experience. 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 Child Psychology, 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.
- EDU 304 and 404, students work with refugees at the Florida Center for Refugees. In other Education courses, students complete field-based assigned activities with special needs children in Hillsborough County public and charter schools and participate in an After School Tutoring Program with ESOL students.
- In 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.
- Nursing students in a Community Health course engage in health screening events and tobacco prevention training.
- Students, in ITM 261: Web Programming, work in small teams with clients from the local business community to build websites for them.
- Accounting 553: Federal Taxation, students assist elderly and economically disadvantaged individuals in preparation of income tax returns through the Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service VITA Program.
- In Sociology of Aging (SOC 302), students volunteer for 20 hours in an organization that services the elderly. Students record their observations and experiences and then link them back to their text and class lectures. They also write a paper to address the benefits of their experiences and how they contributed to their knowledge about the social aspect of aging.
- A Government, History and Sociology department professor developed a community-based project that will culminate in a faculty-led trip to Ghana. This Development Strategies & Projects in Africa course (GWAH 492) experience will connect Honors students in a very intimate way to a remote rural village in northern Ghana.
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