Community engagement, often called “service learning,” aims at merging learning goals and community service in ways that can enrich both student growth and the common good. It is a combination of two strategies—teaching and learning—that focuses on the integration of meaningful community service with instruction, enriching the learning experience and teaching civic responsibility. By offering our students service learning opportunities, we essentially equip them to learn practically in real world contexts and to develop skills of community engagement by offering community partners chances to address noteworthy needs.
Service learning will impact students’ learning experiences by:
- Having a positive impact on students’ academic learning.
- Improving students’ ability to apply what they have learnt in “the real world”.
- Creating a greater sense of personal efficacy, personal identity, spiritual growth, and moral development.
- Supporting students’ interpersonal development, mainly the ability to work well with others and build leadership and communication skills.
- Reducing stereotypes for a better inter-cultural understanding.
- Improving social responsibility and citizenship skills.
- Forming connections with community members for learning and career opportunities.
- Boosting the sense of the school’s satisfaction with the quality of student learning.
- Providing networking opportunities with engaged faculty in other disciplines or institutions.
- Enhancing community relations.
- Encouraging student participation in his/ her community.