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Service Learning

Student service learning combines classroom instruction with community service to address community needs.

Students take what they learn in the classroom and apply that knowledge to real-world problems in their communities. Service learning enhances the learning experience by:

  • teaching critical thinking skills to solve complex problems in the context of real-world situations
  • encouraging civic responsibility and community action
  • promoting cooperation and teamwork
  • building character

Service learning supplements reading, writing, and classroom discussions. It is also ideal for students who learn better by doing hands-on activities rather than simply sitting in a classroom.

What is Not Service Learning?

Service learning differs from community service (volunteering) by requiring structured and guided classroom learning. Students then apply this knowledge directly to a problem or need in the community.

Service learning also should not be confused with mandated community service hours required for graduation or as a form of punishment.

Find Service Learning Opportunities

Service learning may be available at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and faith-based or community organizations. Ask a counselor or other staff member about opportunities. Also check out the following:

  • Conservation Corps
    Provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults.
  • ServeMinnesota
    Provides information on Minnesota AmeriCorps opportunities.