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Service-learning is a teaching method in which students apply course concepts to real-life experiences that meet a community need. While service-learning does have a component of volunteerism, it is more than that. Service-learning uses the experiences of your service project as the basis for learning more about the issues being examined in class, while also applying class concepts to your service experience.
Although service-learning and internships are related, they are different in at least four important ways. Service-learning students:
Any UC Denver student who wants to gain valuable, community-based experience in a field that suites them should explore a service-learning opportunity. Speak to a professor or stop by the Experiential Learning Center (ELC) so we can discuss what opportunity may be best for you.
Organizations who work with service-learning students or volunteers are often quite flexible. More than likely your experience would happen between normal working hours (9am-5pm) and sometimes on Saturday or Sunday. Students are encouraged to find a time that consistently works best for them, then build their experience around that time.
For legal reason the university is not allowed to transport students to or from a host organization’s site unless having written consent to do so. In most cases, students take public transportation, drive themselves, or carpool with other friends.
Consider the ELC as a resource you can use that always has your best interests involved. We have a list hundreds of organizations grouped according to field of interest. Stop by our office (260 Tivoli) and see a staff member, or read the ELC Website for more information.
Academic credit is the biggest difference between service-learning and volunteering. Service-learning students get credit because their experience is built into a class they are taking. Volunteers do not normally get credit. Please remember, any service experience is useful for the way it gets the student involved in the community. The time you spend serving looks great on a resume and often leads to professional connections that may help you land a job in the near future.
First think about your field of study and try to apply it to an activity you would find enjoyable and educational. Speak with your professor as they may have some advice or ideas. Then visit the ELC in person or go online to our Website and use Volunteer Link to narrow your choices down. Next, contact an organization or two you think you would like to serve. If you need help crafting an introduction, please see us!
Experiential Learning Center | Tivoli 260 | 303.556.6656 | Experiential.LearningCenter@ucdenver.edu
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