Service-learning may take various forms, depending on how closely the service experience is related to the student's academic program:
A teaching method that combines community project and experience with instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in organized service experience that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility and commitment to the community.
*Definition adapted from Campus Compact, a national coalition of college and university presidents that is dedicated to promoting civic engagement and service-learning in higher education.
- Satisfaction with the quality of student learning
- New avenues for research and publication via new relationships between faculty and community
- Providing networking opportunities with engaged faculty in other disciplines or institutions
NIU's two-year fellowship program, Service Learning Faculty Fellows, provides faculty with an opportunity to serve as ambassadors for our service-learning pedagogy. Learn more about the benefits of participation, eligibility and how to apply to the Faculty Fellows program.
Resources and Support
Our office supports university faculty from across all colleges and majors in creating service-learning opportunities for students by integrating meaningful community engagement into their college courses.
The services we offer faculty include:
- Assistance in identifying community partners
- Course development tools and resources to enhance service-learning experiences
- Service-learning orientations
- Resources for faculty and instructors in creating service-learning courses
- Funding support through Service-learning Faculty Fellows Program
- Annual Service-learning Institute (View a recording of last year's institute)
Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning
Altgeld Hall 100
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.