Connecting your course to community

Community learning, commonly known as “service learning”, includes a set of teaching and learning practices that incorporate work in and with publics beyond the university classroom as a critical means for achieving course objectives.  It is typically a component of credit-bearing coursework in degree-granting departments. However, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs can facilitate community learning if clear learning objectives and methods for reflection on learning are in place.

Virginia Tech's 2012 Plan for a New Horizon calls for pedagogical models that “spark curiosity, facilitate creative thinking, and develop the tools for effective communication” involving “hands on” as well as “minds on” approaches to problem solving. Within this vision, community learning that integrates diversity, internationalization, and service is an expected component of the Virginia Tech educational experience. VT Engage is pleased to play a vital role in facilitating the university’s Strategic Plan.

The VT Engage team is available to provide assistance to courses with a community learning component in a variety of ways:

  • consulting with faculty on course design and syllabus development,
  • facilitating faculty and student connections with community partners, and
  • developing orientation, reflection, and assessment strategies that enhance the impact of community engaged learning on the student experience.

Register your course

Faculty who plan to or are interested in incorporating community learning/service-learning components in upcoming fall 2017 and spring 2018 courses are asked to register their courses with VT Engage. This process allows for VT Engage to track all curricular community learning efforts on campus, in an effort to better support faculty and raise the profile of community learning at Virginia Teperience.

For more information or to arrange a consultation, contact Service Learning Coordinator, Mary Case at 231-7042 or engage@vt.edu.