To provide opportunities and academic credit for experience-based learning to promote lifelong commitment to social responsibility and public service. Service-learning at MU strives to develop civic, corporate, and social responsibility while enhancing the students’ personal growth and enriching the lives of persons within the community.
Service-Learning at MU
The Office of Service-Learning was founded in January 1995 to support academically-based community outreach campus-wide, serve as a consulting center for program design and implementation, and provide and maintain partnerships with service agencies and organizations in the state of Missouri.
Service-Learning courses at MU combine academic coursework with relevant and impactful service to the community. The goal of service-learning is simple – what students learn in the classroom is applied in the community to create engaged and effective servers, and conversely, student activities in the community are integrated into the classroom to transform and enrich learning.
Each semester at MU, thousands of students enroll in service-learning courses that connect them to credited service opportunities in the local community. Through service to others, students learn valuable lessons in citizenship and are able to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations. Through service-learning, students meet real needs in the community while developing important personal and professional skills.
Taking on service-learning students means that student volunteers will be held accountable to not only their agency, but to our office, faculty members, and the University as a whole. We not only prepare students for the professionalism and responsibility that comes with service-learning, but we offer support throughout the year to make sure students follow through on their commitments.
Between 2006 and 2015, the MU Serves Project has increased community collaboration from 160 to 290 community partners as well as 156 government offices, and over the last eight years, student participation in service-learning projects has increased 81% from 2,429 students in 2006 to 4,395 students in 2015. Service to the community has increased by 87% from 97,200 hours in 2006 to 208,727 hours in 2015. From 2006 to 2015, a total of 32,402 students performed 1,333,553 hours of service to the Columbia community.