What is Community Service Learning (CSL)?
— CSL is a form of experiential education that partners academic instruction with community
service, focusing on critical and reflective thinking as well as personal and civic
responsibility. Students gain a deeper understanding of course content and civic responsibility
through participation in thoughtfully organized service activities that are course
relevant and meet actual community and campus needs.
Is CSL the same as student volunteerism?
— No! Unlike volunteerism, where there is no structured learning outside of what the student experiences at the agency and reflection is not built into the experience, service learning, requires the student to connect service experiences to course content through reading, writing, and dialogue. There is a structured learning component that prepares the student for the service experience and requires the student to reflect on their experiences in light of the course content fostering critical thinking and enhanced learning.
What are the benefits of CSL?
— CSL engages students in the educational process, applying what they learn in the classroom to contemplate and solve real-life problems in their community. Students obtain a deeper practical understanding of the course material through experiential learning, research presentation skills, and reflection. CSL develops self and social responsibility through civic engagement. Students actively apply their course material to community and campus service projects, which better prepares them for academic success, work, and life.