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Jan and Bud Richter Center

Service-Learning and Students

Service-learning is a unique experience that combines academic coursework with meaningful service activities and critical reflection on that service.

Service-learning puts the theory you learn in the classroom into practice in the community. We like to refer to service-learning as a way to put academics into action! Each year, Fresno State offers an average of 170 service-learning courses. 

One way to identify a service-learning course is by an “S” following the course title.  For example, Marketing 100S is a service-learning course.  Another way to determine whether or not a class will include a service-learning requirement is by a "classnote" or footnote 13 in the course schedule. 

Learn more about Service-Learning in the classroom and what to expect from your service experience below:

Fresno State SL students working on trail building project

In addition to fostering a better understanding of course content, service-learning experiences will also help you:

  • Develop leadership skills, foster a sense of community, improve self-esteem, improve communication skills, and enhance your appreciation of diversity;
  • Explore potential careers or gain experience in your chosen career field;
  • Develop professional skills and contacts that can assist you in obtaining future employment, build your resume and enhance future career opportunities.

At the same time, service-learning also helps the community by:

  • Providing needed services (e.g. tutoring a child, building a home for a low-income family, helping those suffering with illnesses);
  • Providing talents and knowledge to community organizations that may not otherwise be able to afford those services;
  • Enabling service organizations to reach more people who are in need.

Student's Guide to Successful Service-Learning

If you are a student in a service-learning course, you may be wondering what you can expect and/or what are your responsibilities. The Student Service-Learning Modules are designed to provide a quick, yet helpful overview of what service-learning is and how to get the most out of the experience.

Each module consists of a short Prezi presentation, optional and short written information, and other resources that should be of assistance. If, after reviewing these modules, you still have questions, we encourage you to first talk with your instructor. You can also contact staff members at the Jan & Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning for assistance.

  1. What is Service-Learning?
  2. Getting the Most out of Service-Learning.
  3. How to Get Started.
  4. Why Service-Learning and What is My Role?
  5. Reflection & Assessment
  6. Impact & Testimonials

Watch this video to learn about a service-learning clean-up project from a student's perspective!