What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning is a form of experiential education characterized by all of the following:

  • student participation in an organized service activity
  • participating in service activities connected to specific learning outcomes
  • participation in service activities that meet identified community needs
  • structured time for student reflection and connection of the service experience to learning

Abes, Jackson & Jones(2002)

Service-Learning at TCC

Service-learning has been one of the methods of experiential learning at TCC since 1994. TCC offers a variety of courses with a service learning component and at present the College offers service learning in approximately 60 courses.

When you enroll in a Service-Learning course at TCC, it means the professor has agreed to include a service option or requirement in the course. You will perform community service and then relate that service to the course material in a written report, presentation, or other method of reflection of the instructor's choosing. The amount of time required for this option is entirely up to the professor and, therefore, will vary from course to course.

Students develop intellectual, personal, career, and civic skills and assume a more active role in their education. Service learning at TCC addresses needs in the Tulsa community while helping students meet academic, social and civic learning goals.

Students are confronted with real life experiences that enable them to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Coursework from textbooks, lectures, discussions and reflection provide an academic foundation to their service.

Benefits to Students

  • Makes curriculum relevant to life 
  • Clarifies values
  • Promotes community and civic responsibility
  • Encourages multicultural awareness 
  • Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Fosters social and personal development
  • Job contacts
  • Broadens horizons
  • Active, relevant learning
  • Improved career selection choices for students

Benefits to Faculty

  • Enhances learning of existing course competencies
  • Improves motivation for instruction
  • Improves satisfaction and retention
  • Helps build classroom community
  • Establishes relationships with people in the community
  • Brings theory to life through practical experience
  • Fulfills the civic responsibility general education goal

Benefits to Community

  • Provides meaningful services
  • Creates opportunities for organizations to participate in student learning
  • Builds community awareness of TCC programs and services
  • Increases human resources for services and outreach