1. What is Service-Learning Advantage?

Service-Learning Advantage is Truman State University’s unique program that allows students to participate in service-learning in a co-curricular setting. Individuals or student organizations may complete projects that serve the community and fulfill pre-determined learning objectives. Students who participate in the event, complete the online pre and post project surveys, and attend a Service-Learning Talk and Reflect (STAR) Session will receive a citation on their Co-Curricular Record.

2. Who is eligible to participate in a Service-Learning Advantage project?

Individuals, student organizations, and groups of students (not part of an organization) can partake in Service-Learning Advantage. We want to give every Truman student the opportunity for Service-Learning and are, thus, very willing to work with students to make this experience both possible and successful.

3. How can I participate in Service-Learning Advantage?

Contact the Service Learning Advantage Team at the SERVE Center to get more information and to initiate a project. Formulate a project with on your own, in a small group, or with your student organization that includes community service and related learning objectives. Planning tools and templates can be found here.

You may want to review your organization’s annual or past projects, if applicable, to see if any of them carry the community service and learning objective elements required for Service-Learning Advantage. Work with the Service-Learning Advantage Coordinator at the SERVE Center to alter previous projects to make them applicable. The Project Proposal Prompt is a good place to start figuring out how projects might fit in to the Service-Learning Advantage mold.

4. How is the Service-Learning Advantage different from service-learning in an academic course?

During academic Service-Learning, faculty members plan, guide, and direct all or at least parts of the Service-Learning experience, including project sites and reflection activities. The learning objectives for projects generally come from the course learning objectives, and faculty members are present to assess and evaluate how well students are meeting these objectives. The experience is also generally part of the final grade for the course.

During co-curricular Service-Learning, students plan and implement their own projects. They also determine their own learning objects and reflection activities. While structured, group reflection (STAR Sessions) is held at the end of each semester, students can do their own reflection throughout the course of the project. Finally, students must find internal or group motivation to complete the project, as there is no final grade or formal figurehead facilitating the experience.

5. What are the benefits of participating in Service-Learning Advantage?

Service-Learning Advantage is opportunity for students to partake in service learning, especially since not all disciplines and programs offer Service-Learning in their courses. Truman is a very active and involved campus that highly values these out-of-classroom experiences. Thus, this is yet another time for students to increase their knowledge, impact the community, grow as a college student, and enhance their educational experience while at Truman. Students also receive credit on their co-curricular records.

6. How long does it take to complete a project?

Because the Service-Learning Advantage projects are more specialized to the individual volunteers, student organizations, and community partners, projects vary in length. However, typically, projects may take up to weeks or months to complete. They may be completed in a single semester or may span into multiple semesters.