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What Is Service Learning?

By Meaghan Cayer on April 3, 2017
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This April is Service Learning Month at Bay State College, but what exactly is "service learning"? 

Service learning is where academics meet community service. Let's say you take a course, and as part of your curriculum you go out and provide a service to the community in a way that reinforces what you learned in class. That's service learning. 

What makes service learning unique to community service is its ties to your curriculum. 

If your class spends the day helping in a food kitchen, that's community service. But if you've been learning about global hunger issues in class and want to take a look at what's happening at the local level in regard to hunger, then help at a food kitchen, that's service learning. Do you get the difference? 

Service learning is important because it benefits both students and the community. As a student, you have the opportunity to take the practical skills and theories you learned during class and apply them in the real world, making real change. In turn, your community benefits from the extra support and participation, and may solve problems they otherwise wouldn't have the resources to address. 

Throughout the month of April, we'll be highlighting some of the awesome service learning initiatives Bay State College students have been involved with this year. From the Inside-Out Prison Exchange – where Bay State students and incarcerated students take classes together in a prison setting – to sustainable, wearable garments made by our Fashion students, there is a service learning project for everyone at Bay State! 

Want to get involved with service learning? Ask your Academic Advisor which courses in your program have a service learning component. Or, if you have a new idea, add it to the sticky note wall in the 31 Lobby during Service Learning Month and we'll send it to your program chair!