Students Engage in Service: Society, community, institution, and program

Students Engage in Service: Society, community, institution, and program

Service learning, an attribute of high quality programs, affected the individual students as well as the greater community. By engaging in meaningful leadership practice, students were able to make positive contributions to their communities and also to their own learning and development. Programs created the pathways, bridges, and corresponding learning space for students to use their leadership for civic purposes.

Actions. Students engage in service includes three actions which program stakeholders undertake. First, programs provide opportunities for students to practice leadership and learn through service learning in groups and individually. Second, programs expose students early to a wide breadth of multiple service sites, people, and organizations. Third, programs allow students to have increasing responsibility and devote significant time for in-depth service to the site in which they are most interested or the cause about which they are most passionate.

Effects on students. Students engage in service has three important effects on students. First, students clarify their passions, interests, strengths, and begin to find their life work by trying contexts and roles at different service placements. Second, students expand their social awareness, empathy, gratitude, and respect for others by encountering issues such as poverty and injustice firsthand with eye-opening experiences. Third, students understand how they can serve to make a difference, and they build an increased desire for servant leadership and involvement in leadership for social causes.

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