Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is academic service-learning?

Academic service-learning is a national movement that combines school curriculum with service to the community. It is a pedagogical strategy that allows students to apply theories to authentic and realistic situations, while providing service to the neighboring community. Academic service-learning is based on a reciprocal relationship in which the service reinforces and strengthens the learning and the learning reinforces and strengthens the service.

What are the differences between academic service-learning, volunteering and community service?

While volunteering and community service both serve the community, neither addresses the key elements that academic service-learning does:

  • Significant learning objectives for the course
  • Full integration into the course by means of reflective assignments
  • Class discussion
  • Meets real community needs

Why should a student opt for academic service-learning?

Academic service-learning can be beneficial to every student, because it:

  • Enhances learning by combining theory with experience and thought with action
  • Assists students to see the relevance of the academic subject to the real world
  • Empowers students by giving them a greater responsibility for their learning
  • Encourages the self-development of students with empathy, personal values, beliefs, self-awareness, self-esteem, self-confidence, and social responsibility
  • Helps cultivate a sense of caring for others (civic responsibility), through developing a richer context for student learning

Who decides the placement of a student's site?

The Academic Service-Learning Center will provide a list of potential sites. With the approval of the professor, students may decide where they would like to be placed. If the student would like to work with a site that is not offered by the college, he/she must get authorization from the professor.

How do you know if a potential site is right for the course taken?

The course must pertain to the course being taught. For example, students taking a child psychology course, i.e. PSY 205, must participate at a site that involves children, like an elementary school. The main goal of academic service-learning is to have a harmonious relationship between the learning objectives of the class and the service presented.

How many hours of service are necessary to fulfill the class requirement?

In most courses, a student will spend a minimum of 10-15 hours at the site during the semester. Please note that some professors require more.

Where can students and faculty members go to for more information about Academic Service-Learning?

Students and faculty members can find many resources and answers on the Molloy College Website. If there is a question, or a problem that the Website does not address, contact the Academic Service-Learning Center at 516.323.3356

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