What is Service Learning?
Service learning integrates active, socially significant service into the education experience. It offers students meaningful, community-based, experiential learning by adding human depth to the theories learned in the classroom. At Rivier University, service learning reflects our commitment to action and social justice; and it leads to authentic knowledge and union with God, neighbor, and the community.
Service learning provides a unique learning opportunity for students by being involved with the inner workings of an organization or agency. Academic theory is tested and deeper understanding often develops. The service experience opens new windows of awareness and self-confidence. It often helps to confirm or inspire new direction in academics or career.
Service Learning Requirement and Options
Students in the School of Undergraduate Studies are required to earn one credit in service learning prior to graduation. It is recommended that students enroll in a service learning course during their sophomore year. It is important to realize that students receive credit for the academic components of their service learning experience, not solely for the community service hours they complete. Rivier University supports students’ service learning experiences by offering two flexible options:
Service Learning in Community, SL100
Service Learning in Community, SL100, is a stand-alone course. The class meets a few times over a semester. The course includes directed readings, 20 hours of direct service, class discussions, journaling, and a final reflection paper. Students can choose from field assignments at over 12 community partner sites. Additionally, students have the option of utilizing an alternative spring break service trip as their field placement.
Plus-One Service Learning Courses
Several courses at Rivier University offer a “Plus One” option attached to them. This permits students to integrate a community service project with a course they are taking. The faculty member that is instructing the class oversees the 20 hour service project and the academic components. Academic components may include class presentations, writing assignments, journaling and other projects highlighting the learning and growth that has resulted from the service experience. Plus one service learning courses are designated with an "S" such as MA 125SA Math for the Humanities, or HD208SA Child Psychology. If you are enrolled in a course that seems ideal for a service learning experience, discuss the possibility with your professor. Many faculty members are open to supporting a Plus One option for interested students.
Service Leadership Opportunities
The Service Learning Office has leadership opportunities for interested students. Student coordinators work to recruit and support volunteers within the community. Additionally they engage in direct service at their assigned agency. Many of these positions are paid for work-study eligible students. Contact the Service Learning Office at 603-897-8658 for more information.
If you have further questions you can contact Donny Guillemette, Coordinator for Service Learning at 603-897-8658.