In a service-learning course, students apply academic knowledge to address a community need in order to enhance their learning, develop as professionals and learn the importance of civic engagement. More than 40 percent of UGA undergraduates fulfill their experiential learning requirement by taking a service-learning course.
Service-Learning at UGA
In service-learning courses at the University of Georgia, students apply what they are learning in the classroom to critical community issues through hands-on projects that benefit community partners. Students have the opportunity to –
- Connect what they are learning in the classroom to real-world projects that address issues such as food insecurity, housing, sustainability, education, and much more
- Partner with over 100 nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations to participate in hands-on projects and service placements designed to meet the needs of these organizations
- Engage in reflection to connect course learning objectives to the community-based activity
- Learn more about themselves, develop professional skills, reinforce academic concepts, and better understand their role as future leaders in the community
Service-learning courses are offered in all 18 of UGA’s schools and colleges, and more than 500 course sections are taught each year. Courses can be found in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, from First Year Odyssey Seminars to doctoral coursework. Look for the “S” suffix to find service-learning courses.
Benefits of Service-Learning Courses
Students who take service-learning courses report many benefits such as:
- Improved understanding of academic material
- Meaningful interaction with individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds
- Increased sense of confidence and self-efficacy
- Improved ability to think critically and solve problems
- Increased sense of civic responsibility
- Development of professional and leadership skills
- Increased understanding of how what they are studying can be applied outside the classroom.
Learn More About Service-Learning Courses
There are more than 500 service-learning courses throughout all 18 schools and colleges at the University of Georgia. Here are a few examples of what you might expect in a selection of these service-learning courses.
- In Applied Financial Planning (FHCE 4235S/6235S) students provide IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to low- and moderate-income clients in partnership with the Georgia United Credit Union and other organizations. Under supervision from professionals, students provide tax savings tips and financial education.
- In the Terry College of Business’s Integrated Marketing and Brand Communication (MARK 4600S) course, students work in marketing teams to develop marketing campaigns for over 20 local non-profits each semester.
- In Housing and Community Development (FHCE 4340S/6340S) students work with communities across the state through the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) program to undertake neighborhood housing assessments.
- Second and third year law students enrolled in the Veterans Legal Clinic (JURI 5977S/5978S) assist low-income veterans and their family members in navigating VA and Social Security Administration . Over the past five years, the program has helped 150 veterans obtain $1M in benefits.
- Believe it our not, there’s even a service-learning course in Philosophy! In Philosophy with Children, philosophy students work with the local public library to offer an after-school teen club called “Let’s Talk About That” that helps teens learn to engage in constructive conversation on issues that are important to them.