In an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) course, you will be applying the concepts you have learned in class to real-life situations. Through this type of community engagement, you will expand your academic achievement, gain career skills, and cultivate life-long learning.
Enrich your academic experience and your future career
Research shows that students who participate in experiential education such as AS-L receive numerous benefits:
- Expand your resume to become a competitive job candidate.
- Apply classwork to real world issues to address real community needs.
- Reinforce classroom concepts through hands-on applications.
- Enjoy alternative learning environments.
- Affirm your career path through experiencing a related work environment.
- Network to build relationships for your career.
- Deepen your sense of belonging to a community.
- Learn 21st century skills that you will need for your future.
- Prepare for further education or graduate school.
What you can expect from Academic Service-Learning
When you are enrolled in an AS-L class there are differences one can expect from a typical classroom setting. As a form of experiential education, you can expect to:
- Work and learn with a community partner.
- Gain an increased understanding of a community issue.
- Apply your course knowledge to meet a community-identified need.
- Apply what you are learning in class in the community and learn while you are serving.
Misconceptions of Academic Service-Learning
Academic Service-Learning is not:
- An internship, clinical or field study which focuses on learning rather than service.
- Volunteerism which focuses on service and the service recipient but not on the student and learning.
- Free or convenient labor.
- An "add-on".
- A stand-alone, one-time project that does not relate to the course learning goals.
What students are saying about Academic Service-Learning (2012-2014 highlights)
Laura Nielsen is a business management major from Coon Rapids, MN. Her Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) participation has provided her with a wonderful opportunity to help the community. She sees many benefits of AS-L courses: resume building, making connections with the community, and helping to build her professional skills. She was personally able to be involved in a graphic design project that will serve as great experience later in life. Laura felt that her AS-L experiences were very positive and beneficial to her personal and professional development.
Ben Damberg is a business management major from Eveleth, MN. His AS-L experience has reinforced his perception of the importance of mental health care for children and teens in the community. Due to his enrollment in an AS-L course, he has become more understanding of the needs of people with mental health problems, especially those of youth. His experiences also helped him realize the importance of layout and design while successfully completing a project. Ben's favorite part about participating in AS-L was being able to work on meaningful and worthwhile projects within the community. He enjoyed the opportunity to work with an organization that is making a difference in northern Wisconsin.
Lila Knabe is a transportation and logistics and business management major from Mason, WI. Her AS-L experience made a positive impact on her professional goals because it was heavily group-based. They started with just general information and had goals they needed to reach by certain times. Because of her experience as an "Academic Service-Learner," she is more aware of the impacts the students at UW-Superior have and can have on the surrounding community. She sees that one of the benefits of AS-L is to get the students and community working together.
Shannon Baumann is an elementary education major with a double minor in early childhood and special education from Virginia, MN. Due to her AS-L, Shannon feels that she will be a better teacher. Her participation in AS-L programs has afforded her the opportunity to interact with students and has provided her with great teaching experiences. Throughout her AS-L experience, she has been able to work with many students from differing backgrounds within our community. This has allowed her to gain hands-on learning experience early on into her education career. Shannon has very much enjoyed her experiences with AS-L.
Yoel Yohannes is a communications arts major from Saint Paul, MN. During his time as an "Academic Service-Learner," Yoel worked in a group developing informational pieces for a mental health collaborative. The one thing he will remember the most is what goes into making a logo. As a result, he is not only more aware of mental illness within the community, but the experience also provided him with a different new medium for learning.
Asia Hill is a business management major from Hopkins, MN. Her AS-L experience has furthered her career and goals by showing her what it takes to create logos, flyers and informational sheets for a business campaign. It has also improved her understanding of how to work with other organizations. The connections she saw between this experience and her college coursework were: the importance of being able to work with others, understanding what a client wants, and how to create an overall brand for a business. Through helping the community within the AS-L program, she was able to serve while furthering her own skills, and she feels that it was a great benefit to her education. Asia feels that all of the skills learned in AS-L will help her in the future when she reaches her dream of starting her own business.
After your Academic Service-Learning experience
Strategically summarize your Academic Service-Learning experience on your resume:
Looking for more service opportunities after your AS-L course? Find local, national and international service projects and related information:
- AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps is your chance to put your ideals into action while learning new skills, making new connections, and earning money to pay for college
- Break Away: Learn more about alternative spring or semester break trips and how you can take part in change through a week of service
- Global Volunteer: Volunteer for a summer, year, or more across the globe and engage in problem-solving and service in global communities
- Idealist: A premier website for finding jobs, internships and service projects
- National Mentoring Partnership: Find a mentor and learn how to be a mentor
- Nonprofit Career Guide: A guide for students and young professionals seeking careers in the non-profit sector.
- Volunteer Match: An excellent way to find service projects in your community
- Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity: Find Habitat for Humanity building opportunities in your community
- Wisconsin Campus Connect: A statewide organization committed to encouraging civic responsibility among the students and faculty at Wisconsin's public and private colleges and universities.
Resources for students