Whether you need to fulfill a service-learning credit for a course or you simply want to engage civically in your community, the Thayne Center for Service & Learning provides numerous options for service work.
Service-learning is described by the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse as “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.”
SLCC makes it easy for students to take designated service-learning classes that can be incorporated into majors or used as elective courses.
“Typically, classes at SLCC expect 15 hours of service, which is just an hour a week throughout the semester,” says Rebecca Van Maren, the coordinator for Thayne Center Community Partnerships. “It’s a great way to gain experience in the community, learn the content, try something new, and make memories!”
The Thayne Center has over 100 community partners that engage in both service for the school and outside community outreach. These partners include Boys and Girls Club, Best Friends Animals Society, The Road Home and many more.
Students also have the opportunity to pitch and launch their own service-learning project. SLCC will provide up to $500 to go directly to starting your project. Students must be enrolled in a service-learning course in order to apply for a student project fund.
If you are already participating in a service project or contributing to volunteer work on a daily basis, you may be eligible for certain awards and tuition waivers.
Service-learning can come with many benefits, such as receiving hands-on experience that directly relates to the course curriculum.
“Service-learning enriches traditional course content by giving the student an opportunity to ‘test’ or ‘demonstrate’ abstract theories in the real world,” according to a study by Linda Sax from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Students not only gain first-hand experience that could lead to future career opportunities, they also develop vital life skills.
According to the University of Minnesota, service learning “improves your ability to handle ambiguity and be open to change.”
Emily Jessop, a Thayne Center staff member who serves as the Bruin Pantry VISTA, says service-learning gives the opportunity to “hear stories you wouldn’t regularly hear” and “perspective and empathy is built on the conversations you have through service-learning.”
The Thayne Center has offices located at South City and Taylorsville Redwood campuses and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Visit the SLCC Service-Learning website to find more information on the Thayne Center and how to get involved with service-learning.