Benefits of S-L
Enhancing student learning while making a difference in the world
Research has demonstrated that participation in service-learning offers significant academic and personal benefits for students.
- When combined with reflection on their experiences, a service-learning course design can increase students’ academic learning and enhance their understanding of the subject matter.
- Community-based experiences strengthen students’ ability to apply what they have learned to “real world” settings.
- Working in the community enhances students’ personal development, e.g. sense of personal efficacy, personal/communal identity, social responsibility, and moral development.
- Concrete engagement in community service also increases students’ social responsibility and citizenship skills.
Loyola's students have repeatedly validated this research in self-reports about their service-learning class experiences. For example:
76%of service-learning students surveyed in Spring 2011 indicate that they were more engaged in their service-learning class(es) as compared to their other, non-community-based courses.
78% indicate that they were more interested in their service-learning course topic after taking their service-learning class.
84% rate the likelihood that they will continue to engage in community-based work related to their service-learning course topic as "very" or "somewhat likely."
84% either "Strongly agree" or "agree" that "Participation in community service or a community-based project enhanced my understanding of this course’s academic content."
Of course, service-learning classes benefit more than just the students. CEL data indicate that Loyola service-learning students contributed over 240,000 hours of voluntary service to the broader community as part of their courses...all while building valuable academic, personal, civic, and pre-professional skills.
Click herefor a "By the Numbers" survey of some of the impacts of Loyola's service-learning program on the community and on students' perceptions of their own growth and development in service-learning classes.