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 multiple years including 2014, UT has been 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 for 30 hours. They also complete a series of eight, two to three page papers where they are asked to link their experiences volunteering with course material.
- GWA 282: Students begin by questioning what development is, ask who defines it and explore who benefits from it. They then read about a wide range of development projects and evaluate them for their effectiveness. Finally, students and residents of the villages of Nabdam, Ghana, put together developmentally-oriented service projects and implement them during a trip to Ghana.