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As a part of the Learn and Serve grant program, the systemwide office began the first CSU systemwide assessment about the impact of service learning on students. The program began in spring 2002, and lasted three academic terms to examine whether service learning impacts attitudinal change in students in four cluster areas. These areas are academic learning, community involvement, career preparation, and personal development. Using campus and national models as a guide, pre-course and post-course surveys were developed. By clicking here you can download the pre-course and post-course surveys. The Office of Community Service Learning would like to acknowledge that several questions were used and adapted from assessment tools developed by the Center for Academic Excellence at Portland State University.

To support the fourteen CSU campuses that are involved with this project, administration guidelines and an introduction letter to students were developed by the Office of Community Service Learning at the CSU Office of the Chancellor. To see these examples, click here.

Some of the facts and figures that are known as a result of this project:

  • On average, students estimate they provided about 20 hours of community service for each service-learning course. Seniors and graduate/postbaccalaureate students spent an average of six more hours in service activity than did freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. The number of hours spent in service learning systematically increased from freshman to graduate level.

  • Between 70 percent and 85 percent of the students engaged in some form of reflective activity during the course. Students most often discussed their service experience with other students, but more than two out of three students also talked abut their experience with their instructors and/or wrote about it.

  • In CSL courses where the service-learning experience was given as an option to students, most students (78%) “opted” for the experience.

  • Almost 90 percent (88%) of the students rated the quality of their service-learning experience highly (i.e., excellent, very good, or good).
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Judy Botelho
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Last Updated: May 06, 2016