Written by Mark R. McCoy, Ed.D., Professor, Forensic Science Institute –
The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (2011) defines service learning as a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service learning represents a potentially powerful form of pedagogy because it provides a means of linking the academic with the practical. There is growing evidence that having students apply theoretical material learned in the traditional classroom in a “real world” setting has a positive effect on student learning and interest in the subject matter (Astin et. al., 2000). Service learning projects also benefit the community by providing new perspectives into the work of universities and strengthening community relationships with faculty and students. . . .