Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



The use of service-learning courses has evolved in the United States in the past three decades. While the most traditional approach to service learning focuses on what universities and colleges can do for the community (Speck and Hoppe 2004), a more contemporary approach has transformed service learning into a holistic experience that engages educators, students, and community partners in a dynamic process of mutual exchange. Drawing upon the examples of other universities (Chupp and Joseph 2010; Freire 2004; Pompa 2002), our department has recently created five new opportunities for service learning in which service learning is viewed as a system of interactions and exchanges among all agencies and partners involved. This paper provides an overview of these five projects. Each project employs service learning in a unique way and provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the numerous aspects of learning (in both undergraduate and graduate programs) that are often neglected in traditional classroom courses.