University Relations
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Benefits of Service-Learning

Service-learning has potential benefits to everyone involved: students, faculty, and the community.

STUDENTS in service-learning classes can benefit academically, professionally, and personally. These are just a few of the ways:
  • Increase your understanding of the class topic
  • Gain hands-on experience (possibly leading to an internship or job later)
  • Explore or cement your values and beliefs
  • Have opportunities to act on your values and beliefs
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Grow your understanding of diverse cultures and communities
  • Learn more about social issues and their root causes
  • Improve your ability to handle ambiguity and be open to change; become more flexible
  • Develop or enhance your skills, especially in the areas of communication, collaboration, and leadership
  • Test out your skills, interests, and values in a potential career path, or learn more about a field that interests you
  • Connect with professionals and community members who you will learn from
  • Grow a professional network of people you might connect with again later for jobs or internships
  • Satisfy your urge toward public service or civic participation
FACULTY can benefit personally and professionally from integrating service-learning into courses. Teaching with service-learning can:
  • Encourage interactive teaching methods and reciprocal learning between students and faculty
  • Add new insights and dimensions to class discussions
  • Lead to new avenues for research and publication
  • Promote students' active learning; engage students with different learning styles
  • Help students achieve the U of M's undergraduate learning and development outcomes
  • Develop students' civic and leadership skills
  • Boost course enrollment by attracting highly motivated and engaged students
  • Provide networking opportunities with engaged faculty in other disciplines
  • Foster relationships between faculty and Twin Cities community organizations, which can open other opportunities for collaborative work
  • Provide firsthand knowledge of community issues; provide opportunities to be more involved in community issues
COMMUNITY PARTNERS participating in service-learning can benefit in these ways:
  • Gain additional human resources needed to achieve organizational goals
  • Inject new energy, enthusiasm, and perspectives into the organization's work
  • Grow the organization's volunteer pool: service-learning students will share their experiences with friends and classmates
  • Increase public awareness of key issues
  • Reach out to youth—an important part of any organization's future support
  • Educate students/youth about community issues; correct any misperceptions
  • Help prepare today's students to be tomorrow's civic leaders
  • Network with colleagues in other organizations and agencies
  • Identify and access other university resources; build relationships with U of M faculty, students, and staff