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About Academic Service Learning

Consistent with the mission and strategic plan of the University of New Haven, the purpose of Academic Service-Learning is to foster social responsibility and promote community engagement.  We provide opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to work in partnership with the Greater New Haven Region and beyond for the purpose of exchanging knowledge and resources to strengthen our global society.

  1. What We Do

    Our office supports students, faculty, and staff at the University and works in partnership with the Greater New Haven Region. The Academic Service-Learning Office creates and disseminates resources to benefit faculty, students, staff, and community partners.

    • Improves campus-community awareness of Academic Service-Learning.
    • Cultivates the partnership between UNH and CT Campus Compact by serving as the UNH representative at statewide meetings and serves on its strategic planning committee.
    • Collects and maintains information on service-learning courses and community partnerships.
    • Conducts site visits to ensure partnerships are based on mutuality and reciprocity.
    • Hosts campus-community partnership events to promote and expand relationships.
    • Creates and conducts seminars and workshops to assist faculty in incorporating service-learning into an academic course.
    • Works one-on-one with faculty on service-learning course construction.
    • Facilitates partnerships between nonprofit agencies and faculty to form campus-community partnerships.
    • Convenes the Academic Service-Learning Advisory Board.
    • Assesses impact of service-learning on students.
    • Applies for grants to support our service-learning initiative.
    • Hosts an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer.
    • Recognizes student learning through Academic Service-Learning Award and agency contribution through Campus-Community Partnership Award.
    • Nominates UNH faculty and staff for state and national awards.
    • Showcases the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and community partners on Experiential Education Day.
    • Manages Community Perception Study to assess our relationship with the Greater New Haven community.
  2. Guiding Principles

    • It is a form of experiential education and is an academically rigorous pedagogy distinct from other traditional and experiential approaches to teaching and learning.
    • Enhances academic performance, develops social and civic responsibility, and fosters personal development.
    • Partnerships between the University and the community partner are based on mutuality and reciprocity. Both the student and the community should equally benefit from the service activity.
    • The service activity meets an actual need in the community.
    • Critical reflection is thoroughly integrated with academic learning. Reflection helps students to link their service experience to course content and to reflect upon why the service is important.
    • Connects students with the Greater New Haven Region and contribute to their interest in and understanding of community.
    • Supports faculty in the development of service-learning courses that include preparation, reflection, and evaluation.
    • Encourages and values student voice and leadership.
    • Welcomes the community partner as co-educator.
  3. Mission

    The goal of the Service-Learning Office is to assist students in developing into socially responsible and active citizens and to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives. The Service-Learning Office provides the framework for students to become socially responsible through the following civic learning objectives:


    Leadership - students will apply their leadership with or without a formal position

    • Understand that leadership is a process
    • Develop skills that facilitate the sharing of the leadership roles
    • Work with others to develop a shared vision and agenda on community issues
    • Understand the importance of accountability and hold themselves and others accountable for their actions


    Social Responsibility - students will identify as a member of the community and will take action to address public problems and issues

    • Act ethically by applying and creating knowledge for the betterment of society
    • Recognize their responsibility to others; locally and globally
    • Integrate values and beliefs with career decisions


    Cognitive Examination - students will apply their academic knowledge and personal experience to address public problems and issues

    • Identify community assets and needs
    • Understand community strengths, problems, and resources
    • Identify parts and the connections among them as coherent patterns
    • Demonstrate an ability to critical examine societal issues using academic knowledge and personal experience


    Learning About Self and Others - students will identify personal strengths, values, and goals

    • Articulate their beliefs and understand how and why these differ from others
    • Respond to the feelings and concerns for others
    • Develop their professionals skills related to their career
    • Examine their own cultural and social identities and how those shape their values


    Community Engagement - students will contribute to their community by advancing its quality of life

    • Contributions will be made through political and non-political processes
    • Understand the importance of participation in the democratic process
    • Recognize and work effectively with contradictions
    • Apply their knowledge to community issues