University of Vermont

Office of Community-University Partnerships & Service Learning

Service-Learning at UVM

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Service-learning has a distinguished history at the University of Vermont. Home and alma mater of John Dewey, the famous progressive educator, Burlington and UVM have long valued engagement in community and experiential education as key foundations for citizenship. Dewey saw education as the process of actively connecting experience to knowledge through engagement in and reflection on the world outside the classroom (Noddings, 1998). Combining this view of education with the land-grant mission's commitment to Vermont, UVM opened the first named service-learning center in the country in 1970.

Today, community engagement continues throughout the institution, and the academic service-learning program remains strong. Compared to peer institutions, UVM offers more service-learning courses and enrolls a higher percentage of its student body. National data about the benefits of service-learning are confirmed here, where students report higher levels of academic challenge, greater interaction with a faculty member, and higher levels of critical thinking and real world problem-solving coming out of their SL courses (UVM NSSE 2014 data). The CUPS office facilitates these courses with programs for faculty, students and community partners.

Some highlights from the most recent academic year are in the right-hand sidebar; more information can be found by reading the service-learning reports below.

CUPS Reports

Special Report: Service-Learning & Community Engagement at UVM

FY '15 CUPS Annual Report

CUPS 10th Anniversary Report, 2003-2013

Community-Based Research at UVM

Recent Stories of Service-Learning


Dia De Los Muertos 2016

For the last several years Rachel Montesano, Senior Lecturer in Spanish at UVM, has taught Service Learning courses in the Fall to support the commemoration of Día de los Muertos among Mexican dairy farm workers in Addison county. In the past she and her students have worked with Alejandra to make tamales and build the ...

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UVM's Shampnois Wins City Award for Work in Student Neighborhoods

Gail Shampnois, director of UVM’s Office of Student and Community Relations, has won the 2016 Peter Clavelle award from the city of Burlington. Mayor Miro Weinberger, along with other city officials and community partners, honored Shampnois and other award winners in the Burlington community at a “Celebrate Burlington” event ...

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