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ERIC Number: ED535904
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Improving Student Learning Outcomes with Service Learning
Prentice, Mary; Robinson, Gail
American Association of Community Colleges (NJ1)
In 2006 the Learn and Serve America program of the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded a three-year grant to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Selected through a national competition, thirteen colleges participated in AACC's "Community Colleges Broadening Horizons through Service Learning" grant project. AACC measured learning outcomes attainment for students at the "Horizons" grantee colleges. To investigate the relationship between service learning participation and academic learning, AACC used both quantitative and qualitative methodologies as evaluation tools for its 2006-2009 "Horizons" grant project. AACC developed two quantitative instruments (one addressing students, one addressing faculty) after reviewing the institutional learning outcomes of multiple higher education institutions across the nation. To further explore how service learning affected student learning, AACC conducted five student focus groups and three faculty focus groups during spring 2009. In this study, student learning was assessed in relation to service learning participation through an end-of-course survey. Enhancement of learning was detected in the community college students who participated in service learning, either as a course option or a requirement. Additionally, the voices of community college faculty and students in this study validate the benefits of the service learning pedagogy as an active, engaged method of learning skills and knowledge that will be important beyond graduation. Through this study's results, those community college faculty and students who have experienced service learning appear to affirm that service learning is a key strategy for student engagement and a valuable learning tool for students across disciplines and academic majors, while at the same time providing these students with experiences that dissolve the classroom walls and help launch them more solidly into their careers of choice. (Contains 3 figures and 14 web resources.)
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20015. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A