Office of Service-Learning Support for Learning through Service

About the Office of Service-Learning

Who We Are

Part of Student Academic Excellence at The Ohio State University, the Office of Service-Learning promotes academic success and community engagement through high-impact experiential learning, alongside our partners in Academic Enrichment.  We work to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable community-engaged and service-learning courses and encourage community-based scholarship across the curricula of The Ohio State University.  As a land-grant university, service and civic engagement in support of high-impact learning practices is an essential part of Ohio State’s mission.  Community-engaged learning is a powerful tool to enhance student learning, develop student civic engagement, and foster ongoing collaboration with local and global communities.

What is community-engaged and service-learning?

Community-engaged learning encompasses academic activities that take place in and with communities.  It is built on collaboration, mutually-beneficial partnership, and shared goals between the institution, instructors, community partners, and students.  Community-engaged courses can take many forms depending on the academic context and partnership goals.  Community-engaged courses may or may not entail a traditional service hour component.

At Ohio State, community-engaged learning is a form of experiential education characterized by student participation in community-based activity that:

  • is connected to specific learning outcomes
  • meets identified community needs and is supported by a mutually beneficial campus/community partnership
  • provides structured time for student reflection and connection of the community-based experience to learning

Service-learning is one approach to community-engaged learning.  We have adopted the following definition for service-learning:

“…a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” – Seifer & Connors, National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, 2007

    How do we support community-engaged learning?

    Our services include:

    • One-on-one consultation and assistance
    • Workshops and roundtables
    • Grants and resources
    • Curricular support (S-Designation and S+GE Designation)
    • Gathering and sharing of data and general information

    We also partner with other offices at Ohio State to support the development of general service and civic engagement opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.

    Kuhn Honors and Scholars House

    Contact Us

    Room 301
    220 W. 12th Ave.
    Columbus, OH 43210
    614-292-3135

    General inquiries: slearning@osu.edu