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Service Learning Resources

Students enrolled in URBANST102: Social and Urban Development in Beijing, Stanford-in-Beijing service learning course

Ethical and effective service learning is a hallmark of an Urban Studies education.

What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is defined as "a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning." Jacoby, Service-Learning in Higher Education, 1996.

Service Learning Courses

You can search for Stanford service learning courses in Explore Courses

The Haas Center for Public Service designates service learning courses as "Cardinal Courses" according to the following criteria:

1) Community Partner Preparation for Service: Ideally, before the class begins, there is a clearly identified community partner with whom course expectations have been clarified; however, some courses may require that community partnerships be formed after the class begins (based on pre-existing student interests or relationships). Suggested aspects of partnership development include clarifying expectations for communication, agreeing on protocols for interaction with community, and developing a mutual understanding of what work will be accomplished.
 
2) Student Preparation for Service: The syllabus or related course assignments clearly articulates how students will be prepared for the service experience.
 
3) Service Benefits Community Partner: Student service work directly relates to a community identified need and benefits partner organization. Students are required to spend a predetermined amount of hours on work that benefits community partner(s). This service may include direct service that takes place on site, or research or other off-site work that benefits the partner(s).
 
4) Integration of Service and Academic Coursework: The course includes an assignment (e.g., project or product) that demonstrates the integration of service work and academic course content.
 
5) Reflection: Students engage in a carefully articulated reflection process around the ethical and civic dimensions of the service, the discipline, and themselves.
 
For more information, please refer to the Haas Center website.

Internships

For more information about arranging an internship, see our Internships page, as well as the links on the Career Resources page.

Online Resources

Stanford Urban Studies Service Learning Guide

Stanford University Haas Center for Public Service

Campus Compact - Resources for Students

Vanderbilt University - What is Service Learning or Community Engagement?

University of Maryland - Defining Service Learning and Its Importance

Generator School Network - The Generator School Network is an online community of more than 5,000 youth and adult members who have discovered how they can change the world through service-learning. The GSN is the leading resource for fast and easy sharing, service-learning professional development, and networking.