Academic Service-Learning for Faculty
Academic Service-Learning (ASL) is a fundamentally academic endeavor in which service is an integrated component. It is a credit-bearing, experiential education approach that involves an established community partnership guided by the expertise of professors and community-based practitioners working together with students to address community needs. For faculty, ASL provides a unique set of benefits and a variety of opportunities for professional development.
I’ve taken a number of service-learning courses throughout my time at Elon, each one involving a partnership with a different community organization. These experiences were the ones at Elon that best prepared me to work in a professional environment and that taught me the value of clear communication and of true, collaborative partnership. Service-learning is about really getting to know a partner and understanding their needs, and how their needs match up with your skills, but it’s also about gaining really fantastic “real-world” experience. Service-learning also connects students to their community, which is hugely valuable in terms of identity building and gaining self-awareness.
Service-Learning Applications for Faculty
Creating an ASL Course
The Kernodle Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement has developed a process for faculty to follow when beginning an ASL course. View the instructions for the ASL process.
Support for Faculty
The Kernodle Center actively supports faculty members who incorporate service-learning components into their course offerings. Turn to the Kernodle Center for:
- Logistical and resource assistance from professional and student staff: Kernodle Center staff assistance enables faculty to focus on teaching rather than troubleshooting. The staff is aware of innovative practices in the field of service-learning and applies these practices in the context of the university and the surrounding community.
- Opportunities for faculty to coordinate efforts across disciplines: Service-learning brings faculty into a community of educators who are concerned about making a difference. By working together on common projects, the service-learning faculty and their students deepen their overall understanding of their role in society and, as a result, have a more significant impact in the community.
- Access to a wide range of resources to enhance service-learning endeavors: These resources include academic tools such as sample syllabi or evaluation instruments, as well as a faculty listserv, the faculty advisory committee, faculty scholars program, resource library, consultation and site referrals.