"Service-learning is the various pedagogies that link community service and academic study so that each strengthens the other. The basic theory of service-learning is Dewey's: The interaction of knowledge and skills with experience is key to learning. Students learn best not by reading the Great Books in a closed room but by opening the doors and windows of experience. Learning starts with a problem and continues with the application of increasingly complex ideas and increasingly sophisticated skills to increasingly complicated problems."
- Thomas Ehrlich, from "Barbara Jacoby and Associates. Service-Learning in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices." San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass 1996.
Videos of Service-Learning Projects
Watch this video showcasing two service-learning projects implemented in Teach for America Corps members' schools. The projects were a part of the SEC 592 seminar taught at NLU.
Introducing the NLU Civic Engagement Team
Contact the following Civic Engagement Team members (faculty & staff) for help with service-learning inclusion in your courses, questions regarding service-learning pedagogy, and if you are interested in becoming a team member to advance service-learning involvement throughout NLU.
Service-Learning Faculty Manual
Need an introduction to service-learning? Having trouble defining a service-learning project for your class? The Civic Engagement team has compiled this Service-Learning Faculty Manual to guide professors of any curriculum to utilize service-learning in their courses:
- Chapter 1 Understanding Service-Learning: History, Pedagogy, Philosophy
- Chapter 2 Service-Learning at National Louis University
- Chapter 3 Planning, Developing and Implementing Service-Learning Projects
- Chapter 4 Service-Learning and Diversity Issues
- Chapter 5 Service-Learning Activities at NLU and beyond
Service-Learning Civic Engagement Consortium (SLCEC)
The Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Consortium (SLCEC) brings universities together with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to promote and advocate for service-learning and civic engagement practices. SLCEC provides faculty professional develoment (PD's), generate civic learning opportunities with CPS schools, publishes an online student journal for civic engagement (SPACE - Student Perspectives About Civic Engagement), and advocates for policies that support and strengthen civic engagement practices.
SLCEC works to:
- Encourage universities to generate increased opportunities for their students to learn through civic engagement;
- Strengthen efforts by universities to prepare pre-service teachers to learn, experience, and use service-learning and civic engagement pedagogies as they enter CPS classrooms;
- Encourage increased collaboration between universities and K-12 public schools in service-learning and civic engagement pedagogies and practices.
For more information, check out their webpage: www.slcecchicago.weebly.com.
(SLCEC*) Presents a Faculty Professional Learning Session Series for 2015-16
Interested faculty should register at: SLCEC 2015-16 Series.
Photographs below are from the SLCEC Event hosted by SLCEC & Civic Engagement Center:
SLCEC Professional Development: Site Visit at CPS Schools (Hancock High School)
Thursday, November 5th from 10am - 1pm at Hancock High School located at 4034 W. 56th Street in Chicago, IL. Hancock received the prestigious Democracy School Award for their work in civic education & has consistently been a high performer on service-learning practices. Students & faculty are actively engaged in Service-Learning and engaged in their community. Below are some photos from the event:
SLCEC Professional Development: Site Visit at CPS Schools (Evergreen Academy Middle School)
Tuesday, January 26th from 10am - 1pm at Evergreen Academy Middle School located at 3537 S. Paulina in Chicago, IL. A neighborhood school that takes anyone who wants to attend for grades 6 through 8 in a community that is working class and full of diversity. One of a few schools that has been awarded the prestigious Schools to Watch Award and only one that is a middle school. Their mission is to create a collaborative and safe environment with a rigorous and differentiated curriculum that aligns with the Common Core State Standards, strive to empower all students to explore, to create, and to make decisions while actively participating in, and being accountable for their learning as they become College and Career ready in an economically, culturally, socially and religiously diverse world. Students & faculty are actively engaged in Service-Learning and engaged in their community as well as truly putting the students need ahead of everything else and listens to their ideas & concerns.
Below are some photos from the event:
SLCEC Professional Development: Site Visit at CPS Schools (Multicultural Academy of Scholarship/Little Village)
Friday, April 29th, 2016 from 10am - 1pm at (MAS) Multicultural Academy of Scholarship located at 3120 S. Kostner Avenue in Chicago, IL. The Multicultural Academy of Scholarship is committed to answering that demand by inspiring scholars: internally motivated learners who strive to achieve personal, educational, and professional goals. The Multicultural Academy of Scholarship is founded on the beliefs that: Education offers power, opportunity, and personal fulfillment; Every student can become a highly skilled scholar; Exposure to the arts and an understanding of different cultures cultivate global awareness; The use of technology is central to success; A school excels only when students, parents, teachers, and community members work together. NLU's Todd Price facilitated this site visit and some takeaways those in attendance had were the following:
- Staggered by the blight and decay of the neighborhoods just North of the school
- Engaged by the discussion of the math teacher and the other teachers who shared their process of teaching/thinking, navigating with their students important relationships in making meaning of their curriculum and the world
- Enjoyed and warmed by the sharing of the organizing tactics, the courage and the insights of the students as they shared out their “get better food in the cafeteria” campaign!
SLCEC Professional Development: Civics Summit @ Northeastern Illinois University
Thursday, February 4th from 9:30am - 11:30am at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL. Faculty members interested in civic education gathered to discuss the new civics course mandate that was passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2015 and how we could better prepare our teacher candidates for civics education instruction. Guest speakers who presented materials were Sonia Matthew from the McCormick Foundation and Elizabeth Robbins from Department of Socail Studies and Civic Engagement at Chicago Public School. A great turnout of faculty members from all the university members of the SLCEC especially from National-Louis University. Faculty members who are interested in joining this discussion this year are eligible for a $500 stipend. Below are pictures from the event:
SLCEC Professional Development: Civics Summit II @ Northeastern Illinois University
Thursday, March 31st from 10:00am - 12:00pm at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL. Faculty members interested in civic education gathered again to discuss their strategies that prepare teachers for new civics education instruction. A great turnout of faculty from all the university members of the SLCEC especially from National-Louis University and Northeastern Illinois University. Guest speaker was Joel Westheimer, author of the book, What Kind of Citizen and, along with NLU faculty member Todd Price, led a discussion about his book and what it means to be a "good citizen". He talks about three categories of "Good Citizenship" which are Personal (donating food to a food drive), Participatory (Organizing a food drive), and Social Justice Orientated (Why we have hunger in the first place). Below are pictures from the event:
Illinois Campus Compact (ILCC)
Campus Compact is a national organization with representation in 32 states that supports service-learning in higher education. Visit their website at www.compact.org. NLU is a member of the Illinois Campus Compact. Visit their website at www.illinoiscampuscompact.org. The Civic Engagement Team frequently hosts workshops and other events as a resource for NLU faculty members. See events page for a list of upcoming events.
- Faculty Toolkit for Service-Learning in Higher Education
- http://compact.org/initiatives/trucen/research-university-engaged-scholarship-toolkit/: Campus Compact Toolkit
- Chicagoland Community Partnerships: A listing of community-based organizations arranged by interest/subject category.
- http://digitalcommons.nl.edu/space/: Student Perspectives About Civic Engagement (SPACE), an online student journal that promotes student service-learning and civic engagement experiences in metropolitan Chicago. SPACE invites instructors to nominate exemplary student papers for this journal. Our goal is to publish scholarly and reflective writing that enlightens service-learning and civic engagement practitioners and scholars about student experiences that extend beyond the classroom and into communities.
- http://vufind.carli.illinois.edu/vf-nlu/Search/Home?lookfor=Service%20learning.%20&type=subject&start_over=1&filter%5B%5D=format:%22Book%22: Service-Learning LibGuide - A listing of service-learning materials and books.
- noblehour.com/NLU: Effortlessly track, submit and approve students' service hours on NobleHour. Students can enter a work reflection for evidence-based learning.
Research, Assessment, and Evaluation
- Assessment, Evaluation, and Performance Measurement: Selected Resources: A bibliography of selected resources on how to assess service-learning programs and impact provided by the NSLC
- National Service Research and Policy: Assorted reports compiled by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) on impact and methods of various nationally mobilized service programs
- IssueLab: An archive of open license research on social issues catering to non-profit organizations
If you are already utilizing service-learning and want to let us know, or to find out ways you can utilize service learning in your classroom, please fill out the form found here and we will contact you.
Sample Lists of Syllabi with Service-Learning Inclusion by Discipline