How does service-learning promote Mississippi College’s mission?
The development of service-learning curricula fosters MC's commitment "to excellence and innovation in teaching” and advances the mission of Mississippi College “to reflect[s] its responsibility of service to the community through a variety of learning opportunities and numerous cultural enrichment experiences."
How is service-learning different from community service and internships?
The primary beneficiary of community service is the recipient of the service; the primary beneficiary of an internship is most often the student, who gets hands-on experience. In service-learning, both student and community benefit; a student learns course content through a hands-on model while providing a service that benefits the common good.
What is the advantage of taking (or teaching) a service-learning course?
Studies indicate that students forget half of what they learn passively, but they remember 90% when they DO the "real thing." The Astin HERI study indicated that service participation showed significant positive effects on all its outcome measurements, including: GPA, writing skills, critical thinking, values, self-efficacy, and leadership. In addition, many students find that hands-on learning is more engaging and service more meaningful than typical learning exercises.
Research indicates service-learning has a positive impact on academic learning. Service-learning students report the following outcomes:
- Deeper understanding of course material
- Improved ability to apply material they learn in class to real problems
- Motivation to work harder
- Increased connection to the college experience through stronger ties to students and faculty
- Improved leadership skills
- Reduction in negative stereotypes and an increase in tolerance for diversity
- Deeper understanding of the complexity of social issues
- Increased sense of connection to the community
- Greater self-knowledge
(Eyler, J. & Giles, D.E., 1999. Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.)
How are students graded in a service-learning class?
It depends on the class and the instructor, but generally the amount of service is not the important part. Academic credit is awarded for the learning that comes from the experience. The learning may be measured by projects, papers, presentations, journals, or other methods, and the course is structured so that students do different work, not more work.
How are community service sites selected?
MC’s Office of Community Service and Service-Learning Faculty Advisory Council collect information on community requests for assistance. Faculty members ask for contact information for possible sites where service goals match course learning goals. Faculty members then consult with agencies and community organizations to select sites that provide the most appropriate match. Safety, supervision, orientation, and evaluation are important considerations for both faculty and community partners. If you are a community agency interested in forming a service-learning partnership with an academic class, please fill out an interest form under our Community Partner tab.