Service Learning

Our programs have generated long lasting UGA relationships not only in the state of Georgia, but in places like Ghana, Croatia and Thailand.

Former Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Art Dunning says he particularly wants to encourage multidisciplinary collaborations focusing on strengthening the economic and social well being of people in the Southeast and in other parts of the world, including Africa, Asia and Latin America. “We can be in Tifton or Tanzania,“ he says. “We have some rich opportunities to reach out beyond the campus.“

A global focus is evident in several service-learning activities already underway. As one example, students in the College of Environment & Design have worked for several years with local planners and community activists in Ghana to produce sustainable development plans that utilize principles of smart growth, economic restructuring, cultural tourism and environmental planning.

For more information on CCDP’s global service-learning offerings, please contact Pratt Cassity at 706-542-4731 or

For more information on service learning at UGA, please visit the UGA Office of Service-Learning website.

What is service-learning?

What is service-learning?

If school students collect trash out of an urban streambed, they are providing a service to the community as volunteers; a service that is highly valued and important. On the other hand, when school students collect trash from an urban streambed, then analyze what they found and possible sources so they can share the results with residents of the neighborhood along with suggestions for reducing pollution, they are engaging in service-learning.

Through service-learning, students are providing an important service to the community and, at the same time, learning about water quality and laboratory analysis, developing an understanding of pollution issues, learning to interpret science issues to the public, and practicing communications skills by speaking to residents. They may also reflect on their personal and career interests in science, the environment, public policy or other related areas. In these ways service-learning intentionally combines service with learning, a combination that is transforming both communities and students.

This is not to say that volunteer activities without a learning component are less important than service-learning, only that the two approaches are different activities with different objectives. Both are valued components of a national effort to increase citizen involvement in community service at every age.

Service-learning integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection in order to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen our communities. Because it is such an effective teaching and learning strategy, service-learning is often linked to school and college courses; however, it can also be organized and offered by community organizations. Whatever the setting, the core element of service-learning is always the intent that both providers and recipients find the experience beneficial, even transformative.


UGA Office of Service Learning

The mission of the Office of Service-Learning (OSL) is to promote and support the development of quality academic service-learning experiences in response to critical community needs through a range of faculty and instructional development programs, services, and funding opportunities.

Academic service-learning is a method of teaching and learning which integrates relevant community service with academic coursework to enhance learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Faculty can find information on applying for S-Suffix courses here.