Steans Center > For Students

Academic Service Learning

Student development is critical to the mission of the Steans Center and DePaul. The Center is positioned to equip students with the knowledge and experience necessary to help them develop into future leaders and socially conscious citizens. This comes in part from the hands-on, real world approach of community-based service learning that students experience through coursework, training, workshops, and social justice reflection assignments. There are a wide variety of opportunities at the Steans Center for students to get involved with community-based service learning:

Opportunities for DePaul students

  • Student employment at the Steans Center
  • Scholarships
  • Community-based research assistant opportunities
  • Internships with community organizations and schools
  • Events and workshops
  • Service learning study abroad

For more information, contact Helen Damon-Moore.

What is Service Learning?

Academic Service-Learning (ASL) is a teaching method that may be integrated into any DePaul course.


 At DePaul, we conceptualize ASL as a pedagogical tool intentionally integrating relevant and meaningful service with the community, academic learning, and civic learning. While it involves students in community service as a learning strategy, ASL is  an established teaching/learning method and is not viewed as an "additional requirement," but one that is critical for reaching the learning objectives of your course.

ASL can appear in DePaul courses in several different forms:

Students engage in service that directly benefits a community organization's existing programming (e.g., tutoring, providing health screenings)

Students produce a tangible product by the end of the term (e.g., creating a website, PR plan, assessing organizational recruitment strategies).

Students contribute to a research effort defined and driven by a community partner.

Students support initiatives that directly address social, economic and political inequality and that lead to systemic change.  Examples include working on behalf of local and global social, economic or environmental justice campaigns that seek to promote equity and improve the wellbeing of under-resourced and/or historically oppressed populations.  The Center also supports courses at two prisons where DePaul students study side-by-side with incarcerated students as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.

For questions about how and why service-learning is integrated within your course, please speak directly to your professor.