Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ)

Student Information about Service-Learning

Collage of students workign outside on service projects
Why take service-learning?

Service-learning, or community service as part of a course, adds a whole new dimension to classroom learning and can completely shift how you make meaning of your education.  It can also be a way to apply what you learn in the classroom in the real world. In service-learning, you'll think critically as you see firsthand how institutions, policy decisions, and personal challenges and choices come together to affect the lives of individuals and entire communities.  You’ll be exposed to diverse perspectives beyond campus life and learn about community, democracy, diversity, justice, and social responsibility.

If you haven’t done much service before and aren’t sure if you’ll like it, service-learning can be an easy way to “feed two birds with one hand” and try it out in a course where service is part of your homework, in place of some other types of assignments. 

If you are already interested in service, service-learning can combine that interest with the classes you already plan to take. Some students have said that they did service before, but they learned much more from it in a corresponding service-learning course.  

If you are considering a career in charity or justice work with individuals marginalized by society, service-learning can show you about those fields and gain you valuable professional experience. 

Quick Links

More on how service-learning works:

  • The Office of Service-Learning and faculty members choose community partner organizations appropriate for each course that value the human dignity of their clients and help service-learners have a meaningful experience.
  • Issue areas include: immigration and refugees, hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, human trafficking, youth education, mentoring, tutoring, adult education and job placement, environment, disabilities
  • Service-learning usually takes the form of site-based service, such as serving food at a meal program; project-based service, such as creating a promotional video for a partner site; or a combination of both.
  • Service-learners commit to 20 hours of service done regularly over the course of the semester (usually 2 hours weekly for 10 weeks of the semester, but it can vary by class) as part of normal coursework.
  • To get to service-learning sites, students can walk, use public transit, or carpool in personal vehicles.  Learn more about how to get to your service site.  Loyola also provides Motor Pool vehicles most students can borrow and drive to service-learning.  This requires becoming an authorized driver a few weeks ahead.  If you think you might use Motor Pool but aren’t sure yet, get authorized just in case.
  • Service-learners usually need to get started serving by week 4 of the semester to get enough hours in.  Check out this Service-Learning Timeline.
  • Read more on need-to-know info for service-learners.  

Find a service-learning course:

Check out the service-learning courses offered this semester, last semester, and in future semesters as soon as we know about them. You can also search for designated service-learning courses in Webadvisor by locating the drop-down box labelled “course type” and choosing ‘service-learning’ or ‘service-learning optional.”

Discover community partners

Check out our interactive map of community partners. Feel free to search keywords such as days of the week, populations you're interested in working with, or the name of the organization itself. 

For more information, contact Robin Crews, Director of Service-Learning, at ext. 2112 or rcrews@loyola.edu.