Office InformationJim Dawson
Service Learning Program
Service-Learning is an innovative educational program joining students, faculty, and the community via volunteer service. Students participate in thoughtfully organized service projects meeting actual community needs. These activities are coordinated with faculty and integrated into each student’s academic curriculum.
Over 1000 students enroll in the Service-Learning classes offered each year, assisting several hundred nonprofit charities and public agencies. The community gains resources and services that would otherwise be unavailable. And Pierce service-learners earn academic credit, while also gaining “real life” experience and valuable civic skills.
Service-Learning allows students to gain experience in their major area of study or to explore new interests. Just a few examples:
- A Biology student may create a nature trail over the course of a semester.
- A student interested in business might serve as a supervised tax consultant for low income residents.
- Education majors could choose to work in a school as a mentor or tutor assisting K-12 pupils.
- A future lawyer could gain valuable experience helping attorneys at a nonprofit legal clinic.
- Psychology students might work with a community agency counseling clients.
- Those interested in civic affairs or politics could serve in an elected official's office.
- Love animals? Many agencies provide care to animals, ranging from domestic pets to wildlife.
- Contemplating a medical career? Hospitals recruit volunteers to assist in all departments.
- Seeking to address community needs? Charities welcome help in assisting needy individuals.
- Want to help young people? Become involved with after-school programs, youth or recreation centers.
The possibilities are limitless!
The Service-Learning Office maintains an extensive online list of service opportunities, including job descriptions posted by community agencies and nonprofit charities seeking volunteers. Some Pierce instructors identify specific service-learning projects as a class requirement or as an extra-credit option. Students may also propose their own service-learning project for approval by the Service-Learning Office.