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 a transformative education that engages both the heart and the mind in service to the world.
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
All undergraduate day students 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. Students must take SL 100 Serving the World in order to fulfill their service learning requirement. Students continue to engage in service learning through the Plus-One option offered by some faculty.
SL 100 Serving the World
SL 100 is designed to promote students’ understanding and appreciation of the value of service both as an end in itself and as a means to achieve a higher level of learning. Through active participation in off-campus service projects, students gain an experiential base from which to reflect upon service, learning, community, and social justice in the context of their own educational and personal goals. The course includes directed readings, field work, class discussions, journaling, and a final portfolio project.
Plus-One Service Learning Courses
Several courses at Rivier University offer a Plus-One option. This permits students to integrate a community service project with a course they are taking. The faculty member instructing the class oversees the 20-hour service project, as well as 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”. 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.