Eastern Illinois University’s Civic Engagement and Volunteerism office is committed to ensure that all of our students understand they have the power and ability to change our world and our community for the better through volunteering. We do this by offering meaningful service opportunities that meet a community need, make our neighbor’s days brighter, and compliment learning that is happening inside the classroom.
By taking part in meaningful service initiatives, students expand their knowledge about pertinent social justice issues facing their community, grow their problem solving and critical thinking abilities, develop socially and ethically, and discover their place as civic leaders in the world. In line with EIU’s core values, the Civic Engagement and Volunteerism office believes that students should stand in partnership with their surrounding communities, locally, nationally, and globally to help solve pressing social issues. To see a listing of local agencies with whom we already has strong partnerships, click here.
So what IS Service Learning?
Community Service is extra-curricular — it's something you do apart from or in addition to your academic studies. You may be doing community service through a student organization, fraternity or sorority, or out of the goodness of ones heart. Community service can also be a great way to get experience in the career you're planning or explore something totally different.
Service Learning is curricular — that is its part of an academic course you are teaching/taking. A professor may ask students to volunteer at a certain type of organization, to complete a service project with a school or agency, or to complete a minimum amount of hours. All of these are examples of service learning because they have been built into the learning objectives for the course, and allow the students the opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom.
For a course to be considered a service learning course, it must include a service requirement that meets a community need, relates to the syllabus and some type of reflection that allows the student to show the connection between class and community has been made.