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Academic Service-Learning

Where the APU Cornerstones Connect

Christ, Scholarship, Community, and Service

Academic service-learning is a teaching and learning method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful community service experiences directly related to course content. Our approach focuses on:

  • Connecting theory to practice
  • Critical reflective thinking
  • Personal and civic responsibility
  • Faith integration
  • Relationship to planned vocation

The three distinctives that characterize service-learning at APU are that it is:

  • Academic: Intentional and clear connection to the course learning outcomes and purposeful critical reflection throughout;
  • Reciprocal: Active partnerships between faculty, community partners, and students as mutual beneficiaries and coeducators;
  • Making a Difference: Outcomes of the project are evidenced through impact on community as well as student learning, civic understanding, goals, and faith development and application.
Academic service-learning is the glue that connects knowledge with practice and people. Reading, reciting, and taking tests may evaluate knowledge, application, and integration, but academic service-learning expands those opportunities into situations with the practical problems of the workplace.
Kathleen Tallman, PhD
Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry

Best Colleges Ranking: Service-Learning

U.S. News & World Report published numerical rankings in eight of the research-based high-impact educational practices utilized by universities and colleges that lead to student success. APU was ranked No. 23 in service-learning among universities nationwide. Each year, approximately 65 percent of APU students participate in more than 180 service-learning courses across 24 undergraduate departments.

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

carnegie foundation logo in green saying, elective, community engagement, and classificationThe Carnegie Foundation selected APU as 1 of 119 institutions to receive the 2020 Community Engagement Classification. These 119 institutions join the 240 institutions that earned the classification during the 2015 selection process, for a total of 359 campuses that are active holders of this important designation. This distinction recognizes universities that demonstrate a high level of commitment to community service and service-learning.

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