Models of Service Learning

From:  Virginia Tech. Service Learning Website.

Course Option




4th Credit Option

The fourth credit option is a model that allows a student to add a community service component to an existing course for an additional credit hour.

Introduction to Women's Studies once offered students the chance to earn an extra credit by volunteering with an organization serving women and writing a journal of their experiences.



The placement model integrates an optional or required community service component in an existing course. Students select a service placement from a menu of options.

Professionalism in Computing offers students the chance to fulfill course requirements by providing technology education or assistance to schools and other nonprofits.



The service-centered model builds a course around a community service experience.

Crossing the Border Through Service-Learning links Spanish language students with the immigrant Hispanic community. Students' outreach is supplemented with extensive writing and reading.



The service-leadership model connects community service with the development of leadership skills and competencies.

Exploring Leadership Praxis sections involves students in a variety of team projects that require leadership and student initiative, as an extension of their class work.


Problem Based

The problem based model incorporates the actual product of service with the course objectives.

Technical Writing requires students to produce materials for nonprofits, which are then evaluated against course objectives.


Action Research

The action research model makes the study of community problems and the application of research findings the center of service-learning activities.

Stroubles Creek Watershed Initiative is an interdisciplin-ary research project that monitors the Stroubles Creek Watershed in order to identify problems and remove it from the impaired waters list.


Disciplinary Capstone

The disciplilnary capstone model invites students to demonstrate their accumulated knowledge in a specific discipline through a project.

The Leadership minor in Management offers a capstone course that allows students to choose and implement a hands-on experience as a culmination of their work in the program.

Adapted from "Service-Learning in the Curriculum" by Sandra L. Enos and Marie L. Troppe in Service-Learning in Higher Education, pp.156-181.




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