Information for Students

Enrich your semester and future career with the 1-credit service-learning opportunity

We think the 1-credit service-learning option is like a mini-internship. It gives you hands-on, experiential learning that ties directly into your coursework. Many students attribute their service-learning experience to positively impacting their career search and some even find jobs from it. Best of all, it's designed to make a difference in the community.

We have several resources listed below, including a step-by-step guide and a list of expectations so you know exactly what you'll be getting from the experience.

About service-learning

There are three primary types of service-learning. They have different requirements and expectations. Select the link to view course listings.


Introduction to Service-Learning courses engage students in 4 hours of service related to their course and/or the Public Affairs mission.


Service-learning is embedded into a course and all students participate, providing a minimum of 15 hours of service related to coursework.


Students have the option to earn an additional hour of academic credit by providing 40 hours of service with a nonprofit, government, or public benefit agency. Similar to a mini-internship.

Methods of Service-Learning

Direct Service-Learning: Students have face-to-face contact with the service recipients.
Indirect Service-Learning: Students perform a service without having face-to-face contact with the recipient.  Usually resources are channeled to help alleviate a problem.
Advocacy-based Service-Learning: Students educate others about a particular problem or issue with the goal being to eliminate the cause of a particular problem or issue. 
Research-based Service-Learning: Students conduct research about a particular problem or issue with the goal being to eliminate the cause of a particular problem or issues. 


Student benefits

  • Gain a sense of personal satisfaction by knowing that what you do makes a difference.
  • Earn course credit while completing a “mini internship.”
  • Enhance your resume´ with “real-world” experience related to an area of interest (professional or personal).
  • Develop relationships, build references, and gain valuable job leads.
  • Test career choices and explore areas of interest prior to graduating from college.
  • Apply theoretical concepts (from classroom and textbook readings) to real-life situations.
  • Receive a special designation on your student transcript.
  • Develop insight into how government and non-profit agencies work to improve the community.
  • Acquire skills to be successful citizens and professionals.
  • Contribute to the quality of the community.

What students have to say about their service-learning experiences

Jayci Angell

Spanish 325
Parkview High School

"I would recommend service-learning to others because it is a great chance to get involved with the community and really put into action what you are learning. It gives necessary experience for deciding on career paths and is very valuable."

David Myers

Sociology 420
Urban Neighborhoods Alliance

"It is a good experience to be able to get into the community. It is especially beneficial to students who are not from this area, as it allows them to engage in a community they normally wouldn't be concerned with."

Ashley Brendel

Comm 379
MS Society

"This program allows you to get professional experience that you can't get in a classroom setting. The firsthand experience is awesome! I would definitely advise every student at Missouri State to get involved in a class in their major that offers service-learning. It looks great on your resume and allows you to get a better understanding of what you will be doing when you graduate."

Patrick Bradshaw

Biology 494
Discovery Center

"I would recommend service-learning to EVERY student I talk to. Not only was it one of the best experiences of my life, it helped me see exactly what I want to do with my life. I now know that I want to go into science education and have both the Discovery Center and the service-learning program to thank for that. At the end of the course, I was offered a job which I would not have received had I not done service-learning."

Sarah Cecchettini

Spanish 325
Parkview High School

"I think that all students should give back to the community while in school. Everyone need to focus on others at some point and help their community. Service-learning will help students grow and build a great resume."

Holly Simpson

Biology 369
Dickerson Park Zoo

"It was wonderful to gain hands-on experience with my preferred career field. I cannot wait to add this to my resume. I think it has been the most worthwhile thing I've done so far in school."