SERVICE LEARNING FOR FACULTY

"Course-based service learning is a form of experiential education where students work with community members on community problems and where academically rigorous assignments are designed to explicitly link those experiences to specific learning outcomes." (Hartley, 2006)

Service learning is a teaching methodology used extensively in the United States, but is relatively newer to Canada. StFX was the pioneer university in Canada offering a service learning program.

Research on service learning suggests that students develop:
• Increased learning and motivation to learn
• Deeper understanding of the subject matter
• Increased ability to apply material learned in class to real problems
• Increased ability to work with others
• Increased leadership skills
• Deeper understanding of the complexity of social issues
• Greater self-knowledge
• Increased connection to the college experience through closer ties to students and faculty
(Eyler and Giles, 1999, Where’s the Learning in Service Learning?)

StFX Service Learning offers students the opportunity to get involved in community-based learning in three ways: Course-based service learning, Service Learning Student Society and Immersion service learning.

In course-based service learning, students provide a service in the community that relates back to their course of study, and complete a written assignment for the professor that demonstrates their learning specific to the course objectives. Professors determine the courses where service learning is to be offered, the type of assignment, and the value of the assignment.

Service Learning Program staff are available to assist with all aspects of implementing a service learning assignment, from finding community placements for the students to evaluating these placements. For further information contact Megan Turner at 902-867-2563 or mpturner@stfx.ca.

In Immersion service learning students travel in groups, with a faculty leader, to provide service in a cross-cultural setting. Immersion service learning can be a non-credit or for-credit experience. For more information on Immersion service learning, contact program staff or visit the Immersion link on the web site.