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 Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Service Learning

UM 2008-09 Catalog, pg 25

Following the section on "Cross-Listed and Equivalent courses" and before the section headed "Technical Courses."

Service Learning Courses

Service Learning is a method of teaching and learning in which students, faculty and community partners work together to enhance student learning by applying academic knowledge in a community-based setting. Student work addresses the needs of the community, as identified through collaboration with community or tribal partners, while meeting instructional objectives through faculty-structured service work and critical reflection meant to prepare students to be civically responsible members of the community.  At its best, service learning enhances and deepens students' understanding of an academic discipline by facilitating the integration of theory and practice, while providing them with experience that develops life skills and engages them in critical reflection about individual, institutional, and social ethics.

Courses based upon the service learning instructional method are designated as Service Learning courses in each semester's Schedule of Classes.

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ASCRC invites faculty to request the Service Learning designation for a course.  In order to be included in the next catalog, faculty must submit a completed Service Learning Course Form to the Faculty Senate Office UH221 by Monday, March 3.  Forms, instructions, and criteria are available at:  http://www.umt.edu/facultysenate/main/forms_instructions.htm


The Service Learning Advisory Board has provided the following information to explain service learning and the benefits of this course designation:

Service Learning is a method of teaching and learning in which students, faculty and community partners work together to enhance student learning by applying academic knowledge in a community-based setting. Student work addresses the needs of the community, as identified through collaboration with community or tribal partners, while meeting instructional objectives through faculty-structured service work and critical reflection meant to prepare students to be civically responsible members of the community.  At its best, service learning enhances and deepens students' understanding of an academic discipline by facilitating the integration of theory and practice, while providing them with experience that develops life skills and engages them in critical reflection about individual, institutional, and social ethics.

The Service Learning course designation will provide the following benefits:

  • Service learning will be recognized as a type of pedagogy. Through faculty review and approval of course syllabi, the value and rigor of service learning will be acknowledged.
  • Service Learning will have increased visibility on campus. All service learning courses will have a common designation as part of the course title, e.g. SW 423 Addiction Studies/Service Learning. All service learning courses will be listed in the university course catalog and schedule of classes. Student transcripts will reflect service learning experiences and academic departments may choose to use the designation to recognize faculty and student participation in service learning.
  • There will be greater consistency among service learning courses. Service learning will be operationally defined and all service learning courses will meet well-defined standards.
  • It will be easier for students to access service learning courses. The Office for Civic Engagement will serve as a clearinghouse for students seeking to enroll in a service learning course.
  • There will be enhanced opportunities for UM/community partnerships. Community partner organizations will have improved communication with departments and/or faculty who teach service learning courses that could meet their identified needs.
  • There will be increased ability to assess the value of service learning for the classroom and the community. A procedure will be established for students, faculty and community partners to provide feedback about the experience and how well it met the course learning objectives.
  • It will enhance UM's application for the Carnegie Foundation elective Community Engagement classification.

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Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812