Service Learning

Service learning is a type of  experiential education that combines and pursues both academic achievement and community service in a seamless weave, requiring the use of effective reflection exercises. The goal of service-learning, through linking academics to the community, is to develop the skills, sensitivities, and commitments necessary for effective citizenship in a democracy.

Learn more about Citizenship and Service-Learning  at Missouri State University.

Read about the Top Ten Reasons to Do Service Learning.

Past Service Learning Class Descriptions

Below are some of the class descriptions of the past service learning courses.

Today’s Students Leaving a Mark on Society

Are you ready to SLAM a not-for-Profit agency? SLAM stands for Students Leaving a Mark. The purpose of this class is to give you an opportunity to leave a mark and make a difference. Each month we will focus on a different theme and we will have a SLAM Activity that corresponds to that topic. You will also have the opportunity to SLAM an agency. Our first SLAM Activity will be part of a campus initiative to register people to vote. Our class is going to SLAM Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) and there are lots of volunteer opportunities to fit your interest. Let’s SLAM this fall!

Mnemosyne’s Pen (or The Memory Keepers)

Mnemosyne was one of the twelve Greek Titans, consort of the god Zeus, and mother of the nine creative, inspirational Muses.  More importantly, she was the goddess of Memory and paramount to the collective and individual histories of human lives.  Come, lend a few hours of your time and a pen to work side by side with a senior resident of the The Gardens Independent Living facility in Springfield to recapture his or her memories and compose together a story worth telling and a life worth remembering.   As an alternative service learning activity, students may take part in an exciting new initiative in the Community Outreach program.  In the “Reading Buddies” project, students lend their eyes to those residents whose vision is impaired and share with them the gift of reading. In this introduction to college life course you will acquire the skills to achieve academic success, while at the same time you will be making a meaningful difference in the lives of elderly members of the local community.  Effective communication, research, writing, and organizational skills are tools which are vital to a successful college experience; while compassion, creativity, and a willingness to lend a helping hand are essential elements of a rewarding existence.  

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.  ~ Shirley Chisholm and Muhammad Ali

Ramp It Up

Do you enjoy making a difference? If so, this class is for you! Students in this section of GEP 101 will work together, alongside a paid contractor, to build handicap access ramps through Connections Handyman Services. This agency provides essential home repairs for low income seniors and disabled homeowners so they may continue to live independently and safely in their own homes. Join us for a real “hands-on” experience.  No previous experience necessary.  Please be aware that you will have to devote an entire weekend for this project. Opportunities also exist to help this nonprofit agency from the administrative/research end of the process as well.

Building a Better Community

“Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.” In this GEP 101 service-learning class, you will have the opportunity to apply the Public Affairs Mission and make a real difference in the Springfield community. Through experiential, hands-on learning, you will have an opportunity to participate in building a home for a local family, assisting in the ReStore project, or other related Habitat initiatives.

Bears United

Sign up for this GEP section to be on the team ‘BEARS UNITED.’ Our goal will be to develop the skills and techniques needed to achieve success in college as well as become leaders in the community.  We will integrate our common reader, ‘Outcasts United’ into a variety of service-learning activities for Springfield youth. Options include partnering with Missouri State athletes, developing storyboards, hosting programs, and other engaging activities designed to help connect students with one another and with the Springfield community.  

                           We didn’t come over in the same ship, but here we are in the same boat. ~ Unknown.