Resources for Service-Learning Students

An academic service-learning course is exactly what it sounds like: a class that combines community-based service with learning in the classroom.  Students who take service-learning courses gain real world experience while also helping their community.  The communities in Arkansas and around Conway become your learning environment, as you work with your professors, classmates, and community partners to make a positive difference in the lives of others and advance social change. UCA strives to provide students with service-learning opportunities to help further their learning, civic commitment, and career readiness, providing them with valuable personal and professional experience.

How Does Service-Learning Help College Students?

Service learning…

  • Improves students’ academic performance, including GPA, cognitive development, critical thinking skills, writing skills, and problem analysis skills
  • Applies what you learn to the real world
  • Helps you understand social issues and appreciate diversity in your community
  • Fosters interpersonal development, leadership skills, communication skills, and the ability to work well with others
  • Increases social responsibility, as well as commitment to activism and increased citizenship skills
  • Helps you clarify your career goals, as well as plans to participate in service after college

Source: Astin, A.W., Vogelgesang, L. J., Ikeda, E. K., and Yee, J.A. (2000). How Service Learning Affects Students. Los Angeles: University of California, Higher Education Research Institute.

How is Service-Learning Different From Volunteering?

Service-learning can be different from volunteering or internships in that it deliberately links to educational outcomes of a particular course or educational program. Your professor will assess your learning through reflections and other assignments—like essays, group discussions, projects, or portfolios—as well as from evaluations provided by community partners.

Volunteers may commit to addressing community needs, but their service is not tied to a specific class. Interns may receive course credit for what they learn through their experience, but their experiences may or may not be focused around meeting a need identified by the community.

We encourage students to volunteer outside of class and to explore internship options in their major, but it’s useful to understand the difference between these activities and service-learning before beginning your service-learning course. Students engaged in service-learning should keep in mind how their service activity can help them to achieve the learning goals for their class, as well as how the skills and knowledge they are learning can benefit the community.

Source: The George Washington University Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. Academic Service-Learning.

Student Forms and Handouts

OrgSync is a web application that allows UCA students to join, organize, manage, and communicate with student organizations and their members. OrgSync is also used to track all student volunteer and service-learning hours. Refer to the Instructions for Logging Service-Learning Hours in OrgSync and email Dr. Lesley Graybeal at with any questions or concerns.

Before you serve, please also make sure to submit the Service-Learning Student Waiver.

Congratulations on participating in the Service-Learning Program!