Research shows that community service promotes student growth: immediately and in the future.
Students who are engaged in service while in college benefit from both long-term and short-term effects. Research studies have shown that service provides an opportunity with dialogue with others unlike themselves, which promotes student discovery of their role within society (Astin, Vogelsang, Ikeda, & Yee, 2000; Hurtado, 2009; Keen & Hall, 2009, Zuniga, Williams, & Berger, 2005). In addition, during service students engage in reflection, which clarifies personal values and leads to better understanding of themselves in relation to others (Harper, 2009). Students engaged in service during college are more likely to persist (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005), develop personal efficacy, identity, spiritual growth, and moral development (Eyler, Giles, & Braxton, 1997). Students also develop critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills that lead to racial understanding.
For these reasons, the staff at the Center for Service & Learning is interested in assessing the extent to which participation in various campus-wide days of service lead to civic learning outcomes, specifically aspects of civic-mindedness. Certain events (i.e., Day of Caring, MLK Day of Service, and Cesar Chavez Day of Service) have been selected for analysis. Civic learning outcomes were developed for each event, intentional program design was given to the learning outcomes, and an assessment instrument was developed. Results of this assessment can be found in the CSL PRAC Report.
If you are interested in assessing cocurricular service outcomes or need more information, please contact Kristin Norris (firstname.lastname@example.org).