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Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

Principles of Good Practice

Contact Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs  

Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

Office Location:
715 S. New St.
Commonwealth Hall, Lower Level
Enter at Student Health Services
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-3379
Fax: 610-430-5600

Reporting Community Engagement

Please fill out the WCU Community Engagement Survey if you are a WCU faculty member and you:

1) Teach a service-learning course*

2) Conduct community-based research, strategic planning or other projects in collaboration with a community organization

3) Organize community service projects or trips with students

*If you taught a field course/lab/applied learning experience in the College of Education and Social Work, Department of Nursing, MPH Program, you do not need to complete this form. Your data has already been collected.


What are service-learning courses?
WCU defines service-learning as a form of experiential education that combines community service with curricular goals. Students work towards solving a social problem or meeting an identified need in the community. This work is usually done outside the classroom, but not always.

Service may consist of advocacy work, direct service, or community-based research with students and the community. The service in these classes is directly tied to academic learning. Faculty also guide students to think critically and reflect, making connections between the service activities and academic learning. Examples of reflective activities include classroom discussions, presentations, journals, or D2L posts.

What is community-based research?
Community-based research is a collaborative and participatory approach to research in which community organizations (e.g., schools, non-profit agencies, residents and civic leaders) partner with academic researchers (faculty, academic staff and students) to produce knowledge that solves real world problems. This type of research may include serving as a consultant, as a co-Principal Investigator, or in a variety of other partnership roles.

What are community service projects?
For the purposes of this report, community service projects are defined as assistance to a nonprofit or governmental agency. The projects are non-curriculum based, and recognized or coordinated by faculty at the university. They include both mandatory and voluntary community service.  Service can occur both on and off campus.

Examples include:

  • Large projects for community organizations, such as strategic planning
  • Co-curricular trips, such as taking students to New Orleans to do hurricane relief work with Habitat for Humanity

What do you do with this information?
It is reported to the WCU President, Provost, Deans, PASSHE and Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Because of your commitment to community-based teaching, WCU has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation, receiving the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for achievements in Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnership. The University has also received the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since 2006. Accurate annual reporting by faculty of student community engagement is necessary in order to remain competitive for future honors and distinctions for community-campus partnerships, so we appreciate your prompt and thorough reporting.

How can I get involved with service-learning, community-based research or community service projects at WCU?
Contact Kate Colyer, Assistant Director of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs or Dr. Katie Solic, Service-Learning Faculty Associate

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