Research Opportunities & Initiatives

Service Learning Courses

Course. Credit. Community. Service learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students:

  • Participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs
  • Reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility

An IUPUI student tends to a tree for a service learning course

As IUPUI’s leadership in the field attests, the growth of service learning courses over the past two decades is a reflection of higher education’s increasing interest in emphasizing the civic engagement of students. This growth has reinforced the need for research into service learning’s role in enhancing participants’ sense of responsibility to become active and engaged citizens. Additionally, other areas of inquiry for CSL include the impacts of service learning courses on:

  • Retention
  • Collaborative learning
  • Student-faculty interaction
  • Learning strategies
  • Higher order learning

Results of these and other research to be conducted can be found in research briefs.

For additional information, please contact Tom Hahn at