Thank you for visiting UT Service-Learning on the web! The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is in the early stages of building a formal, campus-wide, service-learning program. This program currently resides within the Office of the Provost and reports to the vice provost for academic affairs. The purpose of UT Service-Learning is threefold: 1) to support faculty in the effective design and implementation of service-learning courses, 2) to facilitate quality service-learning partnerships between faculty and community organizations, and 3) to build capacity for service-learning at UT. To learn more about service-learning at UT, see our Two Year Strategic Plan. We also invite you to contact us if you would like to learn more or get involved with UT Service-Learning. We look forward to hearing from you.
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.