Apply what you've learned in the classroom as you help your community tackle real-life issues through experiential learning.
What is Service-Learning?
Service-learning is much more than community service. These for-credit courses have three main components: academic coursework, a project with a community partner, and reflection.
We want you to leave Iona ready to take on the world and to continue learning outside the lines — in your own life and career, but also on behalf of others. Service-learning courses show you how academic knowledge can be applied in unexpected ways. You'll also find there are some things you can only learn outside of the classroom. Service-learning is a way to practice experiential learning in your local community and beyond.
You might spend time with Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic, look at how environmental justice and animal protection intersect at a sanctuary in Utah, or learn how dance can help a community tell its stories. As the world changes, our service-learning offerings grow and evolve to best serve our partners and our students.
Service-learning can be incorporated into courses at any level, from any academic discipline — from “Introduction to Public Relations" to "International Relations" to “Contemporary Peacemakers in India.”
Your service-learning instructor prepares content — readings, lectures, group activities, research assignments — to get you ready to collaborate with your designated community partners.
Fulfilling Community-Identified Needs
You’ll partner with nonprofit organizations, government agencies and social service groups on specific projects serving needs identified by the organizations and the communities they serve.
Our relationships with community partners are designed to be reciprocal, not one-sided. You're not just helping an organization in need, you're gaining valuable experience. They're not just getting volunteer assistance, they're putting effort into learning with you and sharing their expertise.
Reflection is the key third piece of service-learning that helps bring it all together. We’ll ask you to think meaningfully about your experience — through writing, discussion, presentations, even artistic expressions. These reflections reinforce what you've learned and help you develop a deeper understanding of complex social issues.
Benefits of Service-Learning
Students who participate in service-learning not only receive the benefits of helping a community in need but also are able to carry their experiences into the classroom and careers.
Students who take Service-Learning courses will be able to list them on their co-curricular transcript.
Service-Learning courses on a transcript are attractive to potential employers.
Service-Learning courses help students move from providing volunteer services for others to becoming advocates for real change in society.
Service-Learning courses help students build a genuine bond with the communities they are serving.
*Students who participate in high quality service-learning have the opportunity to see and act on the problems individuals and communities face, engage in dialogue and problem solving with the people most affected, and observe firsthand the effects of racism, sexism, poverty, and oppression.
When we engage students in reflection related to their experiences, they can see the relevance of course content to real-world issues, the interdisciplinary nature of problems and solutions, the complexity of the social fabric, and how they can choose to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Service-Learning enables students to test out theories in real time, in real places, with real people, and with real consequences.
Students can come to understand the difference between helping someone through direct service and becoming involved in public policy and political work that can foster change.
*Numbers 5-8 taken from p.11 - "Service Learning Essentials: Questions, Answers, and Lessons Learned" (Barbara Jacoby).
Previous service-learning community partners include:
- New Rochelle Public Library
- Big Viv’s Toy Drive
- Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle
- Camp Viva
- Don Bosco Feeds Program
- Office for the Aging
- My Brother's Keeper
- Lincoln Park Community Garden
- My Sisters' Place
- Hope Community Services
- Volunteer New York!
Interested in becoming a community partner?
Information for Organizations