Thank you for visiting the Office of Service-Learning on the web! We are the campus’s central office for service-learning at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Our goals are to support faculty in the effective design and implementation of service-learning courses, facilitate quality service-learning partnerships between faculty and community organizations, and facilitate and manage UT’s Smart Communities Initiative service-learning program. To learn more about our work, see our Two Year Strategic Plan. We also invite you to contact us if you would like to get involved with service-learning here at UT. We look forward to hearing from you.
Interested in teaching a service-learning course? Find out the Steps for Planning & Implementing a Service-Learning Partnership!
What is Service-Learning?
Service-learning is a course-based experiential learning strategy that engages students in meaningful and relevant service with a community partner while employing ongoing reflection to draw connections between the service and course content, thus enhancing academic learning, promoting civic responsiveness, and strengthening communities (Definition adapted from Learn and Serve America, www.learnandserve.gov). It aims to enhance academic learning by challenging students to apply disciplinary knowledge within the context of real-world situations. Because service-learning addresses actual community needs, it has the added potential to engage students’ “hearts and minds” in ways that other experiential methods may not. In short, service-learning at its best can transform students into life-long learners and change-agents.