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What Service-Learning is Not

There are innumerable definitions of the term “service-learning,” which emphasize the importance of institutions defining the pedagogical practice in light of specific institutional characteristics. In addition to a common vision for what service-learning is, it is similarly important to identify what service-learning is not. According to the Service-Learning Toolkit created by the Faculty Senate of The State University of New York (2009), service-learning is not:
  1. An episodic volunteer program
  2. An add-on to an existing school or college curriculum
  3. Logging a set number of community service hours in order to graduate
  4. Compensatory service assigned as a form of punishment by the courts or by school administrators
  5. One-sided: benefiting only students or only the community