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Two signs that service-learning is growing in popularity

Posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Why service-learning?  How did this come to be my "research agenda?" Service-learning provides meaningful opportunities for teaching and learning.  And it's clearly growing in popularity, nationally.  How do I know this?  There are lots of signs, including all the research that indicates students retain what they learn better when it's applied to real-world issues through service-learning.  But today, I'll focus on two of these signs. First,  The Carnegie Foundation offers an elective classification for community engagement.  You can read more about the classification here. Some thoughts:

  • When will this classification move from elective to a basic or traditional classification?  Since service-learning and civic engagement trends are growing rapidly, my outlook is positive that this will someday be the case.

Second, in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was launched.  You can read more about it here and watch a YouTube video about it here.  "The President’s Honor Roll increases the public’s awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole"  (Learn and Serve America). With this growing trend in higher education, libraries and librarians need to involve themselves.  We're all talking about proving our value - what better way to integrate ourselves into our communities.  Being involved in service-learning can prove our value to both campus and the larger communities at once.