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ERIC Number: ED521013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-26
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Does Service Learning Help Students Succeed? Assessing the Effects of Service Learning at California State University-Fresno
Leimer, Christina; Yue, Hongtao; Rogulkin, Dmitri
Online Submission
Through Service Learning, students learn while serving the community. This "educational approach ties relevant community service to academic content and uses critical reflection activities to strengthen learning and developmental outcomes" ( Studies have shown (Astin,, 2000; Eyler,, 2001) that Service Learning (SL) helps students improve their academic performance, build leadership skills, strengthen their sense of community, gain professional and career advantages, foster personal development, and cultivate a lifelong civic and service ethic. At Fresno State, "engaging with the region" is one of our strategic goals. Adopting effective teaching methods is a goal in our Academic Plan. SL is one of the means by which engagement and active, experiential learning (known to be effective teaching methods) are achieved. Since 2005-06, the number of SL classes has grown from 124 to 160 in 2007-08. The number of students participating increased from 3,660 to 3,774. Approximately 10% of 2007-08 Fresno State graduates completed a SL course. The university has supported SL since the early 1990s. In 2007, Fresno State received a $3.5 million donation to launch the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning to continue and expand those activities. So, more faculty members are using SL. More students are participating. And the university and Fresno community are supporting this method of teaching and learning. But does SL show positive effects for Fresno State students? To find out, this study examined student demographic and academic preparation characteristics, persistence and graduation rates, time-to-degree, grades, course withdrawal rates, and survey responses to personal growth and job-related skills development for students who participated in SL courses and those who did not participate in SL courses. Appendices include notes on data and methodologies, and tables showing characteristics of service learning and non-service learning students. (Contains 23 tables and 1 footnote.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement