Examples by Discipline
So, you've read all this, and you're thinking "That's great, but how could
service tie into what I'm teaching or studying?" One of the beauties of Service
Learning is the opportunity it provides to explore the many facets of service.
Some projects are tangible and qualitative, while others deal with more abstract
intellectual or humanitarian concepts. All of them focus on tying service into
the core subject matter of the course. Here's a list of some ideas from other
institutions throughout the country, covering many different fields of
At California Polytech, students helped low-income taxpayers with answers to
their tax questions. They also volunteered at a senior citizen center to help
seniors prepare their tax returns.
At Assumption College in Worcester, art students worked with local high
school students to create posters advertising the Worcester AIDS walk.
At the Massachusetts College of Art, students designed and created a mural at
a city recreational area. They also cleaned up a local, abandoned lot, and
turned it into an art park.
At Gonzaga University in Washington, students worked with non-profit
organizations to study their public relations campaigns, determine any potential
obstacles or limitations, and identify solutions and means of improvement.
At Assumption College, journalism students volunteered at an agency of their
choice, and wrote a feature article on a specific person at the agency.
At Bentley College, students composed marketing plans
for non-profit organizations and helped them strategically promote volunteering,
fund-raising, and corporate sponsorship.
At Texas A&M University, students volunteered 20 hours at an agency,
analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of, opportunities provided by, and
threats to the organization. At the culmination of their service, they provided
their findings to the organization and made a presentation to the class.
At Tufts University, students worked with the city manager, testing the
environmental quality of the air.
At the University of Utah students obtained samples of Jordan River sediments
and tested for lead metal content that would otherwise be collected by Salt Lake
At Endicott College, professor Amy Damico has taught 2 Service learning
courses. As part of her Children's Television course, during the spring semester
'03, students worked with YMCA after-school programs to engage young children
with media learning modules
Using this same model for her Media Awareness course in the fall '04,
students worked in teams in the Beverly public schools to help raise media
awareness among middle-school students.
Students can help the elderly at senior citizens' centers learn to use
computers, the Internet, and email.
Students can volunteer at a non-profit organization to update their software
and teach others to use it.
Through the Salem District Attorney's Juvenile Diversion department,
Professor Dave Parry connected with various juvenile court systems and 19 of his
students spent a full day observing and assisting court workers.
At the University of Utah, students volunteered at housing assistance
agencies, helping the poor, homeless, and/or unemployed obtain housing. The
objective of the experience was to explore the role of economics in
understanding social problems.
At Florida Gulf Coast University, economics students assisted lower income
individuals and families with personal investing in mutual funds to achieve
At Ball State University in Indiana, students volunteered at an elementary
school, helping the teachers give more one-on-one instruction to children who
needed closer supervision.
At American University in Washington D.C. students tutored elementary and
middle school children at after school programs.
At Bentley College, students enrolled in Literature of Social Responsibility
volunteered at a non-profit agency, gathering data and gaining experience to
write about their responsibility to social ills.
Students can assist at adult or juvenile literacy centers
At Assumption College, students volunteered at the Audubon Society, providing
tours and coordinating programs for children.
Students can volunteer with state/city departments of public health, helping
conduct pollution testing.
At St. Joseph's University in Pennsylvania, students volunteered at
non-profit organizations, such as health clinics, translating for the
non-English speaking clients.
At the University of Pittsburgh, students volunteered at city hall and other
civil service organizations, helping new immigrants communicate and become
oriented with their new community.
At Portland State University in Oregon, students interviewed elderly citizens
to get a first-hand account of historical events and issues throughout the 2oth
At North Carolina University, students studying African American History
conducted a needs-assessment research project and presented the results of their
research to African American Organizations in the community
At the University of Utah students volunteered at an agency, providing a
specifically needed service in teams, concentrating on productivity, management,
and the culture of the team to achieve the goal.
Students at Utah University volunteered with local non-profit organizations,
working as business management consultants on a specific problem or task for the
At the University of Richmond, Virginia students helped non-profit agencies
develop and conduct a survey that improved their ability to gather and analyze
Students can work with at-risk high school students, teaching them about
music and productive self-expression.
Students can work with the mentally handicapped, such as autistic people, who
use music as a form of communication and therapy.
At Villanova University, students studying ethics worked with a religious
mission serving the poor in order to see themselves as a larger part of the
community and to see how their actions positively and negatively affect the
world around them.
At Boston College, students volunteered at different non-profit organizations
dealing with social problems. In doing so, the students contemplated the meaning
of their lives and the limitations and capacities of genuine human
At Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, students volunteered with the homeless
to study the relationship between social injustice and democracy.
At Providence College students worked with low-income families to strategize
and help the clients utilize the welfare and public assistance programs.
At Mount Wachusett Community College, students volunteered at mental illness
agencies observing and providing input on diagnostic and treatment
At Indiana University, students worked with emotionally disturbed children
and adolescents, collecting data and created a report showing trends and
statistics to the mental health agency.
Religion & Theology
At the University of Utah, students worked with local church youth groups,
helping with theological and spiritual education.
Students can work with AIDS patients, helping them to explore the mystery of
suffering and the apprehension of the unknown
Social and Human Services
Students can be paired with terminally ill individuals in a buddy program to
help the ill stay in touch with the outside world.
Students can work with the blind, helping with the daily/weekly tasks that we
take for granted, but are serious obstacles for the vision impaired.
At Pitzer College in California, students chose a social problem that
interested them, such as AIDS, homelessness, crime, etc. and found an
organization that addressed that problem. The students volunteered 30 hours of
their time and conducted a project relating course concepts to the actual
At Augsburg College in Minnesota, students worked with local agencies on
community research projects, especially community development and urban