Message from the Executive Director

Welcome to the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research at Azusa Pacific University. Our office is proud to serve as a nexus among the university’s Four Cornerstones—Christ, Scholarship, Community, and Service. Our numbers and evaluation data demonstrate significant contributions to our students, faculty, and community. Hundreds of service-learning classes across 20 disciplines and involving more than 3,000 APU students per year have resulted in strengthened learning, faith, intercultural competence, and commitment to civic engagement.

It is clear that service-learning plays an important role in the employability of our graduates, and as a result, the center has been actively involved in the renewed national focus in higher education on employability. The application of classroom learning and theory to practical real-life experience that makes a difference in the community provides students with not only grades, but with a portfolio demonstrating the kinds of skills, experience, and outcomes important to employers, not to mention references and networks that can be critical in the job market.

In addition, the center has actively carried out research within APU and in the broader academic community on the quality of experiential or engaged learning through the Provost Task Force, working with the revisions in the General Education requirements to include and value service-learning, and currently through our Lead Scholar Karen Lang and the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows, who are in the final design and implementation of measurements to ensure quality experiential learning across all levels of the university.

We are also supporting Provost Mark Stanton’s latest initiative, “Education to Vocation,” through various enhancements in our evaluation processes for students, faculty and our community partners. In each of these evaluations, which follow every service-learning program, we are including items addressing the impact of the service-learning experience as it relates to the list of skills and abilities most desired by employers of new graduates.

Thank you for visiting. We invite you to explore the programs and research offered by the center and check back in for updates throughout the year.

Judy Hutchinson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research