Community-Engaged Learning Opportunities
Service-learning can take many forms! Read on to see the many ways you can find real-world experiences connected to your interests, both academic and personal.
Service-learning can involve direct service: volunteering at King Street Youth Center as part of an education course, or installing raised-bed gardens in a food systems course. With direct service, you interact directly with a client population or provide needed services. This work helps you think about the course material in an applied way through structured reflection assignments.
Service-learning doesn't just happen in Burlington; you can travel around the world and engage more deeply in the country to visit through community engagement. Some UVM service-learning courses (particularly in the CDAE department) can involve international travel. In addition, you can pursue service-learning opportunities in study abroad programs.
Service-learning in your major can also involve using your skills on behalf of an organization or agency. Rather than volunteering, you are producing a deliverable or working on a project for your community partner. This might include website design, marketing materials, engineering designs, assessments, public-service announcements, and more!
When your work for a community partner involves some form of research, you are doing community-based research—another form of academic service-learning. You might conduct focus groups, or survey clients of a shelter. Recently, sociology students have conducted prison inmate surveys for the Department of Corrections, and RSENR students have inventoried trees for Vermont municipalities.
Work as a TA in a service-learning class is a great way to develop your leadership skills in the context of academic service-learning. SL-TA’s enroll in CDAE 195: Critical Perspectives on Service-Learning; the course meets just once a week, with the remaining "class time" devoted to working with professors to support the service-learning project (approximately 5 hours per week).
Last modified March 17 2015 12:41 PM