Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract

Service-learning is defined as integrating the community service experience of students with their academic study so that learning is enhanced. The level of student participation in community service is at an all time high as students feel the need to confront today's technical and societal problems. However, service-learning is more than community service or volunteerism. Service-learning as defined above, integrates the community service experience with the student’s academic study (note the hyphen in "service-learning" means that both are considered equal). This enhances learning which is a fundamental goal of colleges and universities. Boyer highlights the need for service-learning stating that "At no time in our history has the need been greater for connecting the work of the academy to the social and environmental changes beyond the campus." Service-learning is a campus wide learning pedagogy including a range of disciplines and has been implemented at over 600 institutions; however, not as widely implemented in engineering and science. A noteworthy contribution in the engineering education, is the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program at Purdue University (http://epics.ecn.purdue.edu) that partners undergraduate students and local community not-for-profit organizations to solve engineering-based problems in the community.

Disciplines

Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Education | Other Civil and Environmental Engineering | Service Learning

Permissions

©2005 American Society for Engineering Education, Chantilly, VA.