The Office of Service-Learning helps facilitate and support partnerships between local community organizations and professors at Loyola whose students engage in service-learning.
Service-Learning at Loyola:
Service-learning is a teaching style where faculty integrate community service as part of an academic course. Loyola has service-learning courses in many different disciplines. Service-learning is different from service, which students do on their own time as a co-curricular activity. In service-learning, community service becomes another text, that is, another source of learning, and reflection assignments are used to help students make connections between service and the rest of the course. Ideally, the service enhances the other course learning. In turn, the other course learning enhances students’ ability to be of service to the community. Community partners are valued co-educators of Loyola students, helping instill lessons about community, diversity, justice, and social responsibility.
How service-learning works:
- Students in service-learning courses generally serve for about 20 hours per semester, or 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. We chose this level of commitment because it is a best practice to put in at least that much investment over time in order to get strong learning and service results.
- Service-learning typically begins a few weeks into the semester and goes until the end of classes.
- Students can serve via site-based service, such as serving food at a meal program, project-based service, such as creating a promotional video for a partner organization, or a combination of both, depending on the needs of the partner and the objectives of the course.
- Loyola’s faculty and Office of Service-Learning provide student preparation and logistical support. Partners are encouraged to provide orientation and ongoing training as well.
- Loyola offers free transportation for most students doing service-learning.
- Most community partners find that they have a few service-learners for a given course they are partnered with. This is because service-learning is usually optional in a course, and many courses have more than one service-learning partner available for students to choose from.
How partnerships work:
- Faculty choose community partners for their service-learning courses based on what kinds of service environments connect to the content of the course.
- The Office of Service-Learning and the faculty we work with strive to respect the integrity and wisdom of partners, seeking partners’ input and guidance as we support their efforts.
- Although opportunities to form new partnerships are not always as plentiful as we’d like them to be, we are always interested in connecting with organizations in our Baltimore community. New service-learning courses start each year, and we can often build new partnerships based on a good fit.
Our community partners are organizations and groups that:
- Serve a population that is marginalized, commonly through material poverty.
- Promote the dignity of each person and protect natural resources.
- Have well-established programs that our students support.
- Provide consistent staff presence and consider the health and safety of students.
- Clearly define the roles of students and staff members.
- Are educators: they provide students with orientation and ongoing training about the social justice issues that touch their work.
- Offer students meaningful work, frequently involving direct contact with individuals in the community.
- Communicate about agency and community needs and student concerns.
Are you interested in becoming a partner? Are you already a partner but want to talk about new partnership opportunities? Do you have feedback for us about a past partnership?
Contact Kate Figiel-Miller at email@example.com or 410-617-2909.