Service Learning and the Liberal Arts
High Point University values service learning as a way to use our liberal arts foundation to promote a more just and sustainable society. The Service Learning Program engages students in connecting the theory of the classroom with the practices of good citizens, encouraging community-based research, active problem-solving, and a growth mindset that fosters creativity and social innovation.

Service Learning courses can be found in...

High Point University values service learning as a way to use our liberal arts foundation to promote a more just and sustainable society. The Service Learning Program engages students in connecting the theory of the classroom with the practices of good citizens, encouraging community-based research, active problem-solving, and a growth mindset that fosters creativity and social innovation.

Service Learning courses can be found in the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum of the University, in Liberal Arts majors courses, and throughout the University's professional schools.

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The mission of the Service Learning Program at High Point University is to engage students in an experiential and interdisciplinary learning environment that promotes their understanding of and commitment to responsible civic leadership.

 

What Is Service Learning at HPU?

Service Learning at High Point University is an experiential and interdisciplinary teaching strategy.  It intentionally aligns and integrates a course’s academic objectives with meaningful community service so the academic goals drive the service and the service enhances the academic goals.  Service Learning courses especially emphasize the ethical dimension of the subject matter and the subject’s relevance to the students’ lives. The courses add an experiential aspect that deepens students’ academic experience while benefiting our communities, with the aim of developing greater understanding across cultural, racial, and economic barriers and educating students for lives of civic and social responsibility.

To know what Service Learning is, it helps to know what it is not:

  • It must never compromise or replace the disciplinary content or rigor of a course
  • It is not students volunteering
  • It is not a regular course with volunteer hours added on
  • It is not an internship or practicum
  • It is not a professional ethics course
  • It does not mean being merely free labor to community organizations
  • It cannot include students being paid for their work
  • It is not about using community partners to give students a good experience, but doing nothing of value for the community partner’s own mission
  • All Service Learning courses fulfill the experiential learning requirement in the General Education Requirement. Some SL courses may also fulfill other General Education or major or minor requirements.

Course Guidelines For Service Learning

Growing out of HPU’s mission to further experiential learning through structured ethical reflection, civic engagement, and character development, Service Learning courses at minimum require that the following guidelines be met:

  • A formal, rigorous academic curriculum deriving from the disciplines in which the course is grounded
  • A required 25 hours in which students partner with community organizations selected by the professor or participate in a project that addresses a community need and is developed in conversation with the professor and community representatives.
  • All students in the course must be involved in the Service Learning experience – it cannot be only a section of the course.
  • The texts for the course should prepare students to reflect on the difficult moral questions of justice, equality, virtue, the common good, etc. that may arise in the course of their lives as members of a community
  • Learning objectives that express the issues of moral and civic responsibility on which the course will focus, including the required SL learning outcomes
  • Help students recognize, understand, and work to alleviate issues of moral significance encountered in their communities
  • Assessments that require structured reflection and an engagement with both theoretical course texts and service learning experiences, using reflective models like the Kolb model (not just journaling).
  • It must result in a tangible benefit to the community and reciprocity between the campus and the community
  • Is a 1000-7000 level course worth 3-4 credits
  • The course must be graded on an A-F scale

 

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