Community-based Service learning intentionally integrates meaningful service with academic learning and purposeful civic learning.
How can you prepare yourself and your students for community engagement?
How can you develop and support the service and its connections to student learning?
How can you help students to integrate their academic and community learning?
How can you assess the experience with community partners and students?
“The room helped bridge the gap between those at the school with severe autism, and those at the Theatre School who had never worked with people who had autism.”
- Ben Raanan, Service Learning student in The Theatre School
Students engage in service that directly benefits a community organization's clients and
programming (e.g., tutoring, providing health screenings)
Students assist in the community by consulting or creating tangible products (e.g., creating a website, drafting oral interview reports, PR plan, assessing organizational recruitment strategies).
Students contribute to a research effort defined and driven by a community partner.
Students support an on-going campaign to address a critical social, economic, and/or environmental issue in Chicago or internationally. This involves valuing the dignity of all people and respecting them as individuals in the pursuit of justice, community-building and peace. For example, the Center supports the Inside-Out Program, through which DePaul students study side-by-side with incarcerated students at correctional facilities.
Building Relationships with Communities
Collaboration with communities
lies at the heart of effective service learning practice. Building authentic relationships with
community residents, organizations, and groups can raise such questions as
- Who or what is “the
community” and “the university?”
- What is “service” and
who is being “served”?
- Who has the power to
create legitimate knowledge and solutions to address pressing issues in
communities? How can an ABCD approach
help to address this question?
- How can faculty and
community partners manage the work of mentoring/supervising students as
a result of this partnership, our community partner, Erie House, benefitted
from increased public awareness and news coverage. For example, one student had several articles about DACA recipients and Rohingya refugees published in a local magazine.”
- Professor Robin Hoecker, Journalism
There are as
many different types of reflection as there are courses, community sites, student
learning styles, and faculty teaching approaches. Successful reflection assignments are
intentionally designed with carefully aligned academic learning objectives and
they are integrated throughout the course, both in and outside the course.
View the list of reflection activities from K. Rice, "Reflection and Student Learning."
Examples of reflection assignments/activities
- Ethical Case Studies
- Self Portraits
- Class Presentations
- Personal Narratives
- Site Reports with
- Experiential Research
Papers, researching a social issue encountered at a project or service site
All can be shared at the
annual student Service Speaks conference through power point, Pecha Kucha, performance,
The CbSL Certificate Program allows DePaul faculty to:
appropriate evidence-based best practices for teaching CbSL and project-based
- Reflect on and articulate your assumptions and beliefs
about teaching and learning in the classroom and community
- Apply pedagogical strategies and methods discussed in
workshops to your teaching
- Create a course or other teaching strategy that
strengthens student learning and honors community partnerships
- Develop a network of colleagues to discuss and develop
pedagogical and career strategies
Click here for our full calendar of workshops for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Through the Faculty Community Immersion Institute participants
- Deepen their
understanding of cultivating and sustaining community partnerships
- Deepen their
understanding of Community-based Service Learning and Asset-Based Community
- Deepen their
understanding of community history, current social justice issues, and assets
- Draft, revise, or
improve a CbSL course, internship, or project
Steans Center Breakfasts
Steans Center facilitates periodic informal conversations at the Center (2233
North Kenmore Avenue) on contemporary issues of interest in community-engaged work
and service learning to faculty, staff and community members. Non-violence,
social entrepreneurship, communications, gender, sustainability, your idea
here? Ideas welcome at email@example.com.
Meet with a member of the Steans Center Staff to consult directly about a possible course, partnership, or project. Contact Helen Damon-Moore, Associate Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.