Service-Learning Fellows Program

Presenting to Service-Learning Fellows

The Service-Learning Fellows Program is a year-long faculty development program that provides an opportunity for selected faculty members to integrate service-learning into their teaching, research, and public service work while becoming recognized campus leaders in service-learning pedagogy and community engagement. (See below for sample outcomes from program participants.)

The program includes a $2500 fellowship award. Up to 9 Fellows are selected for each academic year in a competitive review process; applications are generally due in March.

The Service-Learning Fellows Program is supported by the Office of Service-Learning and is open to all full-time UGA faculty members including academic tenure track, academic professionals, public service faculty, lecturers, medical school, and clinical faculty members with an interest in service-learning. Previous experience in service-learning pedagogy or familiarity with service-learning or civic engagement research is not required. See below for examples of past Service-Learning Fellows projects.


Applications for the 2019-20 program are closed. Applications for the 2020-21 program year will be released in January 2020.

The Office of Service-Learning continues to assess the outcomes of participation in the Service-Learning Fellows Program.

Please contact Dr. Paul Matthews with questions about program outcomes.

Annual Assessments

While pre- and post-participation assessment was implemented in 2007, not all data were able to be analyzed (not all the Fellows did each assessment, and a change in the software platform for the survey as well as changes in the survey questions resulted in data loss). Following are sample outcomes:

• The Service-Learning Fellows Program enhanced my understanding of effective service-learning. 100% agreed (16 Strongly Agree, 1 Agree)

• The Service-Learning Fellows Program meetings were a good use of my time. 100% agreed (13 Strongly Agree, 4 Agree)

• I am satisfied with the outcome of my Service-Learning Fellows applied project. 88% agreed (15 Strongly Agree, 2 Neutral)

There was an average gain score of over a half point (>.5) pre- to post on the following items (n=19 respondents, with 21 questions in this section):

Knowledge of Service-Learning Theory

• I can explain the concept of service-learning to my colleagues. 4.05 to 4.79

• I am able to explain the distinction of service-learning from other forms of experiential learning to my colleagues. 3.47 to 4.47

• I am able to explain the ways in which service-learning is distinct from other forms of community engagement. 3.47 to 4.63

Connection to Resources

• UGA provides adequate assistance or information on service-learning. 3.95 to 4.58

• There are colleagues on the campus with whom I can discuss my service-learning work. 4.16 to 4.84

• I am knowledgeable about the needs of the local community. 3.37 to 3.95

Improved Practice

• My teaching has been enhanced because of service-learning. 4.17 to 4.68

• Service-learning is tied to my service at UGA. 3.42 to 4.16

Longer-Term Assessment

In Spring 2011, participants from 2006-2010 were asked to complete an additional longer-term outcomes assessment; 13 of the 32 eligible past Fellows (40%) responded to this request.

From this longer-term outcomes assessment, the following results were salient:

• Service-Learning Research:

o 11/13 have presented research on service-learning at a conference

o 4/13 have published on SL in peer-reviewed journals

o 3/13 have published on SL in books, book chapters, or other publications

• Teaching of Service-Learning Courses:

o Since taking part in the program, 8 have taught a single SL course, more than one time; 3 have taught more than one SL course more than once, and 2 have not taught any SL courses

•  In response to the prompt, “What was the single most important outcome of your participation in the Service-Learning Fellows program?”, respondents replied:

o Got me motivated to do more SL better

o Opportunity to develop new course that exploits my skills and has built-in opportunities for service-learning research with students.

o I gained a clearer appreciation for the academic side of service-learning, beyond simply community service, and have better ideas of how to engage students more actively in evaluating their own learning process.

o The relationships I have developed and maintained in the community.  It makes my contributions to research, teaching, and service more meaningful.

o Networking

o Deeper understanding of what true service-learning is

o As a result of the wonderful guidance and support from the OSL, I am now deeply committed to service-learning in my courses and I am working on developing ways to make all of my teaching involve a service-learning component.

o S-L resources (articles/books and other instructors’ experiences/ideas)

o Integrating into the SL community at UGA and developing interest in SL at the College

o Education on the scholarship of engagement and the grant award was also significant.

o The development of [my course]

o SL Theory to support SL Projects in my discipline.

o The ability to work with tenure track faculty from across all disciplines.