Service

Service Learning Benefits

Service learning has potential benefits to everyone involved: students, faculty, and the community, supported by research.

Students

Students in service-learning classes can benefit academically, professionally, and personally. These are just a few of the ways:

  • Increase understanding of the class topic.
  • Gain hands-on experience (possibly leading to an internship or job later).
  • Opportunities to contribute to the Las Vegas community while building resumes and work experiences.
  • Explore or cement values and beliefs.
  • Develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Grow understanding of diverse cultures and communities.
  • Learn more about social issues and their root causes.
  • Improve ability to handle ambiguity and be open to change; become more flexible.
  • Develop or enhance skills, especially in the areas of communication, collaboration, and leadership.
  • Test out skills, interests, and values in a potential career path, or learn more about a field that interests a student.
  • Grow a professional network of people to possibly connect with later for jobs or internships.
  • Satisfy the student’s urge toward public service or civic participation.

Faculty

Faculty can benefit personally and professionally from integrating service learning into courses. Teaching with service learning can:

  • Encourage interactive teaching methods and reciprocal learning between students and faculty.
  • Add new insights and dimensions to class discussions.
  • Lead to new avenues for research and publication.
  • Promote students' active learning; engage students with different learning styles.
  • Help students achieve the UNLV undergraduate learning outcomes.
  • Develop students' civic and leadership skills.
  • Boost course enrollment by attracting highly motivated and engaged students.
  • Provide networking opportunities with engaged faculty in other disciplines.
  • Foster relationships between faculty and Las Vegas community organizations, which can open other opportunities for collaborative work.
  • Provide firsthand knowledge of community issues; provide opportunities to be more involved in community issues.
  • Increase student retention (Astin & Sax, 1998).

Community Partners

Community partners participating in service learning can benefit in these ways:

  • Gain additional human resources needed to achieve organizational goals.
  • Inject new energy, enthusiasm, and perspectives into an organization's work.
  • Grow an organization's volunteer pool; service-learning students will share their experiences with friends and classmates.
  • Increase public awareness of key issues.
  • Reach out to youth — an important part of any organization's future support.
  • Educate students/youth about community issues; correct any misperceptions.
  • Help prepare today's students to be tomorrow's civic leaders.
  • Network with colleagues in other organizations and agencies.
  • Identify and access other university resources; build relationships with UNLV faculty, students, and staff.
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