Service-Learning Students

Top 5 reasons: service-learning edition

1. Strengthen career decisions - service-learning can help you determine career options. It's a safe, quick version of doing that thing you've got your heart set on after graduation. So, if you love it, great! If you don't, at least it's better to know now instead of halfway to retirement.

2. Gain professional experience and networking - modern employers crave community-focused students. Make sure you've got the resume and references that will give you an advantage when entering the workforce. Not only that, but community organizations are always on the lookout for their next hire, someone who has already spent time with them has the advantage.

3. Understand your course content on a deeper level - service-learning is known to be experiential and leave a greater impact in student studies. The community builds off the benefits of your labor, while you benefit from actually remembering what you learned later on down the road because you applied it in a hands-on environment.

Vision screening Missouri State students overlooking Port-de-Paix, HaitiMissouri State students overlook Port-de-Paix, Haiti during a vision screening trip

4. Get to know and build our community - You're talented. Springfield needs your talents; you need to develop them in a real-world environment. Find out the issues and how you can effect change with the safety net of being enrolled in a course and with the CASL office having your back.

5. Connect with Missouri State's public affairs mission - our mission sets us apart. It brings in students interested in the idea of making a positive difference in the world. Take the opportunity to experience firsthand what Community Engagement, Ethical Leadership and Cutural Competence means to you.


The goal of service-learning is to develop the skills, sensitivities, and commitments necessary for effective Citizenship in a democracy. Your service-learning experience will take place with a Learning Site, AKA: “community partner,” a non-profit or government agency (e.g. schools, hospitals, various offices/departments, etc.). You are not graded on your volunteering or service (although you do have a minimum number of required hours and there are high expectations for your quality of work at the agency) but you are graded on the learning that takes place over the semester.

Service-Learning Forms

Agreement Form

For service-learning students enrolled in a component course, coordinating with a learning site and course instructor.

Information & Release Form

For service-learning students in all courses to confirm basic information (kept confidential) and policies held by the office of Citizenship & Service Learning.


  • 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.

Students dig it

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."

"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."

David Myers 

Sociology 420

Urban Neighborhoods Alliance

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."

 "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."

Patrick Bradshaw

Biology 494

Discovery Center

 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."

 "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 think I've done so far in school."

Holly Simpson

Biology 369 

Dickerson Park Zoo