Frequently Asked Questions and Student Comments

What is Service-learning?
Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that combines community service with academic instruction. It focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility.

What are the essential components of Service-learning?        

  • Academic integrity: Service-learning assignments tied to course objectives.
  • Meaningful service: Work that meets community needs and benefits the community.
  • Reflection: The deliberate, facilitated process of examining, analyzing and discussing the connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is learned or experienced in the community, associating theory with the real world and one's personal life.
  • Diversity: Exposure to new experiences and unfamiliar people, often moving a student away from their comfort zones.
  • Reciprocity: A process of exchange shared responsibility and shared benefit.
  • Development: Growth and change for all participants, developing academic, personal, professional, social and community skills.
  • Responsibility: Strengthening community and personal involvement and accountability.

How does Service-learning help students?

Service-learning offers another way to learn course material through experience. It can help you develop critical thinking, interpersonal, team-building and personal skills and gives you opportunities to develop professional skills and evaluate possible careers. It also may help you clarify your values and acquaint you with a variety of persons and issues in your community.

Are there service-learning opportunities during the summer?
Service-learning opportunities are usually offered only during the fall and spring semesters due to the number of hours of service required.  However, occasionally an instructor will offer opportunities in the summer.  Check with your summer instructor to determine availability. 

What should I do if I don't know which community agencies would suit my course requirements, personal interests and schedule?

Review the TCC Service-Learning Community Sites list, available on the Service Learning Website or contact the Department of Student Outreach and Civic Engagement, (918) 595-7838.  Discuss options with your instructor and contact the Director of Engaged Student Programming, Carol Carr at (918) 595-7595 or by e-mail at

How many hours per semester are required for the service-learning component of a class?

Service-learning experiences vary.  Stand-alone courses in service-learning require 2-3 hours per week in a 16-week semester.  When offered as a component of a course, requirements vary from 2-3 hours up to 12-20 hours.  The instructor determines specific course requirements and assignments.  You may be expected to write papers or journals or make presentations about your service-learning experiences.   

How do I sign up for service-learning?

1. Read your class syllabus and discuss course requirements with your instructor. 
2. If you need help identifying courses which offer Service-learning, contact Director of Engaged Student programming, Carol Carr at (918) 595-7595 or by e-mail at  She will assist you in identifying a service learning experience suitable to your educational goals.
3. Select a community site for your service-learning and follow their procedures for any interviews, orientation, training, and scheduling.

What if I want to gain community experience, but my area of interest doesn't fall into a class situation?

Contact Carol Carr at (918) 595-7595 or by e-mail at



“I would recommend a form of social volunteerism to anyone who desires a new perspective on their own life.”

“To be honest, when this assignment was made I did not want to do it. But I learned so much and had so much fun, I am now going back on my own.”

“I have learned I have based my opinion about the homeless on what I have seen on television and heard from people. I am really glad that we have been doing this project. It has allowed me to come up with my own opinion about the homeless.”

“Before volunteering, I did not realize how much I should be thankful for. This was an enlightening experience… I did not know organizations like the Day Center existed.”