Integrating & Assessing Service and Civic Learning into the Curriculum & Co-Curriculum

with Brett Bruner, Chris Hutchison

About This Course

Campus Compact (2003) identified that “In a service-learning experience, students learn not only about social issues, but also how to apply the new knowledge to action that addresses real problems in their own communities” (p. 7).  Service-learning is generative pedagogy that connects academic courses with theory and practice in an effort to address and learn from community issues, while advancing civic knowledge and competencies. Like faculty, student affairs administrators also have an opportunity to blend service experiences and civic learning into the co-curriculum, especially through partnerships with academic affairs colleagues and local community organizations. As Palmer (2011) articulated in his notion of a hidden curriculum, “Students learn not only from what is taught; they also learn from how it is taught” (p. 132). Service and civic learning, within the curriculum and co-curriculum, provide opportunities for higher educational professionals to foster the principles of democratic civic engagement through innovative learning experiences with and within the community.

Campus Compact (2003) identified that “In a service-learning experience, students learn not only about social issues, but also how to apply the new knowledge to action that addresses real problems in their own communities” (p. 7).  Service-learning is generative pedagogy that connects academic courses with theory and practice in an effort to address and learn from community issues, while advancing civic knowledge and competencies. Like faculty, student affairs administrators also have an opportunity to blend service experiences and civic learning into the co-curriculum, especially through partnerships with academic affairs colleagues and local community organizations. As Palmer (2011) articulated in his notion of a hidden curriculum, “Students learn not only from what is taught; they also learn from how it is taught” (p. 132). Service and civic learning, within the curriculum and co-curriculum, provide opportunities for higher educational professionals to foster the principles of democratic civic engagement through innovative learning experiences with and within the community.   

Join staff members from two NASPA Lead Initiative institutions to explore how service and civic learning can be integrated and assessed in the curriculum and co-curriculum at public and private institutions. As a result of participating in this online learning community briefing, participants will:

  • Examine the continuum of civic-based definitions employed on campuses, such as: service-learning, civic learning, civic engagement, political engagement, community service, and volunteerism;
  • Articulate the importance of integrating service and civic learning into the curriculum and co-curriculum;
  • Examine successful examples of curricular and co-curricular efforts from two institutions; and
  • Identify strategies to assess service and civic learning within the curriculum and co-curriculum.




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