Service-learning for Faculty

What is service-learning?

Many definitions of service-learning exist – and, each mentions the application of academic instruction within the community to meet need and enrich student learning. Service-learning at Scottsdale Community College combines meaningful service within our community and academic instruction within our classrooms to develop more socially aware, civically responsible and globally engaged student citizens. Thus, for a volunteer experience to be recognized as service-learning, you will find the following four basic notions occur:

  1. Intention – The experience must be intentionally connected to the curriculum.
  2. Need – The experience must meet a need determined by the approved community partner for which the service is to happen.
  3. Reflection – Students must reflect upon their experience in some manner. This is where their learning takes place.
  4. Celebration – The value of the work contributed by the students must be acknowledged. Recognition encourages future collaboration, reaffirms partnerships and renew/encourages a continuing commitment to serve.


Service-learning for Faculty List

Volunteering is performing a service or good work, but it is not necessarily connected to classroom instruction. Internships involve hands-on learning experiences but there may be little or no emphasis on service. Service-learning focuses equally on the service being provided and the learning taking place. Service-learning meets a learning goal and involves reflection.

  • Engages student in active learning
  • Increases student retention of material
  • Reinvigorates teaching
  • Allows you to mentor students
  • Establishes meaningful relationships with students and community
  • Develops sense of difference-making for students and community
  • Provides opportunities for research and publication

  • Furthers college vision, mission and values
  • Increases student retention
  • Presents college as active, engaged community partner
  • Encourages innovation in teaching
  • Enriches quality and relevancy of provided education
  • Engages faculty and student in community issues
  • Increases development and preparation of graduates

There are a number of ways to incorporate service-learning into your classroom at Scottsdale Community College – none being any better than the next. What’s most important is for you, as the faculty member, to figure out what feels most comfortable, start small, seek help from fellow faculty and the Office of Service-learning & Leadership, and build gradually. During that process, consider the following:

One: In-course Approach

  • Small Group: Students are organized into smaller groups or as individuals to complete a service project. The community partners served might be your determination or up to your students; the service may occur at one community partner location or more than one. Process, deadlines and number of hours served would also be up to you.
  • Several SCC faculty that have incorporated small group service-learning into their courses – Sara Beakley-Mercill, Sheila Brandt, Ron Monroig, Ramona Goth, Chuck Cooper, Debbie Dollmeyer.
  • Large Group: As a class, you and your students would complete a service project at a community partner. Again, the project parameters are up to you, and final assignments could be individual or group.
  • Several SCC faculty that have incorporated large group service-learning into their courses – Dave Brown, Matt Healy, Janet Robinson, Eric Rasmussen, Adam Stich.

Two: Exchange Approach

  • Any student can have the choice of completing a service-learning project (and related academic work) instead of a paper, presentation or exam. You have the flexibility to determine project components related to the process, deadlines, number of service hours and even potential community partner service locations.
  • Several SCC faculty that have offered service-learning as an assignment exchange – Larry Tualla, John Weser, Joe Ortiz, Albert Shank.

Three: Experience Approach

  • Each semester, our office plans and hosts Artie Has Heart: SCC’s Serve & Learn Day. Many classes connect with service-learning through this option. The biggest difference between this approach and others is that the details of the Artie Has Heart experience are all handled by our office.
  • Several SCC faculty that have incorporated a service-learning event assignment into their courses – Tia Bruised-Head, Janelle Hoffman, Voula Popovich, Danielle Stallings, Allen Watts.

Four: Independent Project Approach

  • SCC Honors Contract in Service-learning: Any student can create an Honors Contract to complete service-learning in any one of your classes. Specific parameters are in place regarding the process, deadlines and number of service hours, and both the Honors Program and the Office of Service-learning & Leadership are available to help your student.
  • Several SCC faculty have sponsored an Honors Contract in Service-learning, such as Sara Beakley-Mercill, Larry Tualla, John Weser, Merry Wilson.

  • PowerPoint
  • Syllabus Statements
  • Faculty Starter Kit on Canvas
  • Service Learning Institute (Summer Professional Development)

Service-learning Committee

  • Matt Healy, co-chair and English faculty
  • Robert Martin, co-chair and Nutrition Faculty
  • Allen Watts, co-chair and Computer Information Systems Faculty
  • Lori Wedding, Nursing Faculty
  • Relindis Mawo, Chemistry Faculty
  • Dr. Sheila Brandt, Computer Information Systems Faculty
  • Cindy Gemberling, Business faculty and SCC Honors Program Director
  • Sara Beakley-Mercill, Computer Information Systems Faculty
  • Danielle Stallings, Film Faculty
  • Jeff Butcher, English Faculty,
  • Jamie Cooner, Forensic Science Faculty
  • Denise Dion, Nursing Faculty
  • Mark Helzer, Nursing Faculty
  • Mary Pasco, Education Faculty
  • Rich Moulder, Nursing Faculty
  • Kim Sabin, English Faculty
  • Dr. Larry Tualla, English Faculty and department chair
  • Kristine Alcon, Student Service Manager
  • Kanisha Saunders, Student Service Analyst

Campus Compact

The Campus Compact organization is dedicated to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education. When visiting this website, you will find it to be an outstanding resource for information on service-learning from colleges and universities all across the United States – project ideas, best practices, information on current issues, reflection activities, articles, books, and much more!

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse

The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse organization is said to be our nation’s largest library of service-learning resources. You can find tons of free information for K-12, higher education, community-based organizations and tribal communities. Visitors to the site are invited to learn, plan and connect.