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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Colleges everywhere are being called to renew their historic commitment to service. William C. Richardson, president of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, acknowledged in a presentation to the Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities " The land-grant ethic, which embodies equal access to education and service to communities, remains one of the noble, worthy ideas in American society " (Returning to Our Roots: The Engaged Institution, 1999, p.17).
Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning.
In this definition the hyphen between service and learning holds special significance, illustrating a symbiotic relationship between service and learning. While there are many different models of service-learning programs in higher education, Jacoby suggests the emphasis should be on both SERVICE and LEARNING as therein lies the greatest potential to influence student development academically and socially.
Extension is in a unique position to provide rich opportunities for student engagement with communities. Watch this site for stories highlighting student engagement in our unit.