To engage students in meaningful, mutually beneficial service opportunities that simultaneously meet Whatcom’s core learning abilities and community-defined needs.
WCC's Service-Learning Program provides opportunities for students to enhance their academic experience through service by applying their skills and knowledge to real-life situations while developing personal leadership skills, fostering a sense of civic responsibility, and enriching the lives of others.
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What is Service-Learning?
Service-Learning is 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. - Learn and Serve America
Service-Learning incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community. - Campus Compact National 2007
Service-Learning is more than simply volunteering; it is intentionally used to meet stated learning goals. Reflection is key to connect the service and the learning, and takes the experience a step beyond volunteerism.
Service-Learning in ACTION
WHY Get Involved?
WCC Students Reflect on Their Service-Learning Experience
7 students talk about their service-learning project in an IDS Sustainable Resources course spring 2012. The students worked with the City of Bellingham to replace a homeowner's lawn with native plants and mulch, while learning about the need for greater sustainability around Lake Whatcom.
WCC Students Talk About Service-Learning for Psychology
2 group interviews were conducted by WCC faculty, Laura Overstreet. Students talk about their service-learning experiences and offer advice for future students. These students were part of a Lifespan Psychology course in winter 2012. They volunteered with the local CHORE Program, helping elderly stay in their homes and providing them with companionship. Click to listen (first interview, second interview), or read the interview transcripts.
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A D V I C E
C O L U M N
"I would strongly advise future students to try this program. It is a great way to contribute to the community and helps out a lot of people who don't have access to fresh foods. I didn't know that Bellingham had a program like this that gave back to the community."
"I was able to take everything we learned in class and see it in a real-world scenario."
"I would definitely do this over and over again. If you are hesitant, I really urge you to go out on a limb and try it out."
"I highly recommend it for anyone - it gives you an early look into the career you might want to pursue."
"If you're interested in learning more about yourself, this is a great opportunity to try out."
"The biggest piece of advice I would have for future students is - ASK QUESTIONS! It is a busy environment and it is easy to get distracted with the work and just getting to know people. The people are great and more than happy to help educate."
"I think it is important for all students to do some sort of service-learning."
"Ask not what SL can do for you but what you can do through service-learning. For that is where the real benefits are seen and remembered."