What are the benefits of service learning?

Research studies have documented that all participants – students, faculty, community partners – benefit from the service learning experience.


Student Benefits:

student using a wheelbarrow to put dirt on the ground
  • Students gain academic credit while serving the community, and better understand the relevance of their academic coursework. 
  • Students collaborate on real-world solutions.
  • Students develop marketable skills which translates into jobs and higher educational goals.
  • Service Learning programs improve critical thinking, interpersonal communication, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Service Learning helps students find their passion to make a difference in their local and global communities.


Community Benefits:

  • Community outreach programs receive talented, energetic and motivated resources needed to meet increasing needs.
  • Student-community partnerships promote civic responsibility and a sense of community.
  • Student volunteers bring critical analysis skills and generate fresh insight about organizational operations that translate into increased capacity to serve clients.
  • Partnerships bring increased community awareness to the problems facing community organizations.


Faculty Benefits:

  • Service learning encourages faculty to be innovative in their teaching, enriching the experience for both teacher and student.
  • Direct contact with local issues keeps faculty connected with their communities and provides them with data they would not have otherwise obtained.
  • Service learning provides opportunities for new areas of research and publication, and for outside funding sources to reduce research budgets.
  • Student research conducted in service learning courses is a cost-effective way to facilitate research on a limited budget.


University/Institution Benefits:

  • Service learning assists in the fulfillment of the institution’s mission of service and outreach efforts to communities.
  • Service learning increases campus-community collaboration and partnerships, which endears the community to the university and shows its responsive to community needs.
  • Outside funding sources reduce research budgets, yet maintain cutting-edge research projects.
  • Campus-community partnerships bring increased publicity to the institution; heightened visibility and prestige can lead to increased funding and enrollment.
Angeles Margarida with her public art project, which was inspired by her service-learning experience in Tanzania

2021 Master’s Graduate in Landscape Architecture

Angeles Margard

Angeles Margard traveled to the Tanzanian village of Roche to design a community garden for a course in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs (CAPPA).