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IU Southeast Service Learning & Community Engagement LibGuide: What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is a course-based and field-based experiential instructional strategy with a community partner. It engages students in direct experiences with issues they are studying in the curriculum with opportunities to analyze and solve problems in the community.  Students apply what they are learning in real-world settings while employing ongoing reflection to draw connections between the service and course content.  Because service-Learning addresses actual community needs, it has the added potential to engage students in ways that other experiential methods may not. Service learning is good preparation for citizenship, work and life. 

Examples of Service Learning Across the Nation

The following are examples of service-learning projects from universities across the country. 


  • Communications students preparing public relations materials for non-profit organizations. 
  • Education students providing after school tutoring with at-risk students. 
  • Engineering students collaborating with elementary school students to design and construct environmentally sensitive playgrounds. 
  • Social work and Psychology students researching, designing, and implementing effective group interventions for first-time teen offenders in a Teen Court program.  
  • English Composition students preparing newsletters for local non-profits and public schools. 
  • Accounting students offering free tax preparation assistance to low-income clients. 
  • Economics students providing data analysis for non-profit organizations. 
  • Public Administration students preparing grant proposals for community organizations. 


Want more information on how you can include Service Learning in your course? Contact the office at or call 812-941-2286

Service Learning: Real-Life Applications