Service learning combines community service with an academic course. Students spend at least 20 hours during the semester volunteering at a site of their choice in conjunction with a class. Manchester Homeless Services, Kids Café, English for New Americans, Child and Family Services, Hillsborough County Nursing Home, and the International Institute, are just a few of the more than 50 sites the Meelia Center works with. Students may tutor children and teens, serve food to those in need, raise funds, or advocate change in the community.
"Service learning puts a smile on my face each and everyday knowing I am making a difference in my community." ~Kelsey Walsh, Class of 2017
Students' service is then integrated into the classroom through readings, lectures, and discussions. Through service learning students apply theories to practical problems, addressing real community needs. The variety of student experiences then deepens classroom understanding. Kerry White, class of 2015, said that her service learning "brought a real world example into the classroom and made her learning experience much more significant."
This opportunity outside the classroom enhances students' academic, personal, and civic learning. Service learning experiences, especially those related to educational and professional goals, enhance resumes and graduate school applications, demonstrating practical experience in the field and an ethical concern for the community. But it goes beyond looking good on a resume; it's about helping others. It is about going out in the community and advocating change, while instilling hope in those who need it most. Students make connections and learn more about themselves and others, forming new bonds and friendships on and off campus. More than 300 students participated in service learning classes in the 2012-2013 year,
More than 10 academic departments as varied as computer science, sociology, education, nursing, and psychology include courses with service learning components. For example the fine arts department has incorporated service learning for graphic design and visual communication courses where students designed logos, print advertisements, and brochures for nonprofit organizations.
"The Greater Manchester Aids Project has been such an amazing experience so far! I absolutely love working with the clients and learning more about the social work field within the agency." -Lisi Leccese, Class of 2015
New for spring 2016! Please complete the Spring 2016 Service Learning Application (online) to select the community site for your service learning.
For more information about service learning contact the Meelia Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (603) 641-7108.