A study was released in the early 1990s stating that students ages 18-22 were less engaged in community service or community involvement than in any other time in history. Dr. Anne-Marie Foley, while working as an assistant to the director of the Honors College, met with focus groups to discuss what was barring students from involvement in the community. Students in the groups identified two main reasons for low student involvement: students did not have a lot of time and there was not a conduit provided for students to make the connections with the community. The Honors College Community Involvement Program (HCCIP) resulted from the discussions. This initial course, which would become the Office of Service-Learning, began as an Honors course of 15 MU students serving 15 at-risk students at two junior high schools.
The Office of Service-Learning was founded in January of 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.
A new study on students ages 18-22 was conducted and showed that greater numbers of students were engaged in community service. Students now entered college with an expectation of community involvement and opportunities to provide service in the community within which they lived.
In March 2013, the Office of Service-Learning inaugurated the Global Service Program. In October 2013 the Peace Corps Prep Program was inaugurated on the MU campus.