Service-learning for Students

Service-learning Definition

Service-learning combines academic instruction with meaningful volunteerism in the larger community. Your learning is intentional, community-identified, reflective and celebratory. Enroll in Service-learning.

Service-learning Opportunities List


  • Enhances your learning
  • Connects what you’re doing in the classroom to the real world
  • Expands your leadership skills, clarifies your values
  • Makes you feel good about your work and who you are
  • Fosters your connectedness to the community
  • Allows you to try out possible careers
  • Builds your resume, gives you new skills, creates a network
  • Increases your scholarship eligibility
  • Encourages you to always give back

There are four primary ways to make sure service-learning is a part of your academic experience, while you are a student at Scottsdale Community College. And, if you find that your courses are not including service-learning, ask your favorite faculty member to make it a part of her/his curriculum. Our office is here to help them and you!

One: In-course Approach

Service-learning is embedded into your classroom experience in this method. You might be asked as an individual or small-/large-group to select and serve an approved community partner. Or, your faculty member may already have an organization in mind. You will need to then contact the approved community partner and arrange the features of your service work – an important part of your available learning. Plus, there will be a cumulative academic assignment that is reflective in nature. This might be an individual/group presentation or creative element, a campus/community event, data collection analysis and report, or semester journal. Whatever the details, service-learning is a very definite part of the course. Our office maintains a list of courses that we know regularly include service-learning. Please contact us for more info. If you believe you know of others, please share them with us.

Two: Exchange Approach

In this approach, faculty members allow students to select an assignment – perhaps a big paper or huge exam – and replace it with a service-learning project (and related academic work). This is also a nice way for you to look at possible career options, for those courses in your area of study. Just ask your faculty member at the start of the semester, if this is something they offer.

Three: Experience Approach

Each semester, our office plans and hosts Signature Service Learning Events. Many classes connect with service-learning through this option. Just like with the In-course Approach, this style will likely ask you to reflect on your experience and apply your classroom learning. The biggest difference between the two is that the details of the Signature Service Learning experience are all handled by our office. Simply show up, serve, reflect, and celebrate!

Four: Honors Approach

SCC offers an Honors Contract in Service-learning – and, you don’t even have to be an Honors student to do one! This option allows you to select a class where you would like to add service-learning and work with that faculty member to design the experience. If you are an Honors student, this also allows you to receive Honors credit for the semester of enrollment. More information is available by visiting the SCC Honors Program Office in LC, Rm. 320 or Office of Student Experience and Leadership in SC, Room 185.

Honors Student?

If you’re an SCC Honors student (or think you’d like to become one), there is scholarship money available for your service-learning work.

  • Served at least 25 hours at an approved community partner?
  • Earned a 3.25 GPA or higher?
  • Remained in good academic standing?

Full-time SCC Honors students are eligible for a $500 award – and, part-time SCC Honors students (9+ credit hours) are eligible for a $250 award. All Honors Achievement students and students enrolled in Honors classes are encouraged to apply. Visit the SCC Honors Office for more info!

Spirit of Service Medallion

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 50 (30 service-learning/20 volunteer) verifiable service hours of service work. Student service hours may have been completed as part of a class and/or an SCC Honors Contract in Service-learning. Volunteer hours must have been completed as part of an SCC community service experience. Student applicants must also complete and submit the Spirit of Service Award Student Application no later than the last working day in the month of April.

Campus Compact: This 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, scholarships, information on current issues, articles, books, jobs and much more!

Hands-on Greater Phoenix, Volunteer Match, and Action Without Borders offer easily searched service opportunities within our local communities. Break Away is a site that allows you to look for opportunities to serve during school breaks that will likely take you away from home. And, Global Volunteers coordinates “volunteer vacations that change the world.”

Please note, for you to receive credit for a service opportunity you find on one of these sites, you must first be enrolled in an SCC course offering service-learning and, second, check with our office about the applicability of the partner.

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.

Our office offers SCC's Signature Service Learning Events in the fall and spring terms that allows our college students, faculty and staff to spend time serving the needs of our community. As many as 15 approved community partners welcome our college students, faculty and staff to their sites to complete a number of projects. We have packed food at Feed My Starving Children, prepared homes for Save the Family, bathed and socialized dogs with Boxer Luv Rescue, created burrowing owl habitats with the Center for Native and Urban Wildlife, and groomed equines with Wildhorse Ranch & Rescue just to name a few! For all, this is a day to give back to our community and make a difference in the world where we live.

Pandemic learning taught us that we can offer remote community service experiences, too. You might choose to join us to pack seeds for Seed Programs International, make shoe patterns for Sole Hope or even respond to global disasters like COVID-19 by creating masks for the Navajo Nation. Remote service experiences will continue to be available to our students, faculty and community partners.

To register for the next SCC’s Signature Service Learning Event, please visit the Office of Student Experience & Leadership, SC, Rm. 185, (480) 423-6590, or register online.

ACeS, or Artie’s Community for Service, is an SCC student organization that is founded upon volunteerism. Student members have assisted in the planning of and participated in a number of small- and large-scale community service projects. Benefiting community partners and non-profit agencies include Boxer Luv Rescue, Center for Native & Urban Wildlife, Feed My Starving Children, St. Vincent de Paul, The Welcome to America Project and Wildhorse Ranch Rescue. ACeS also partners with other on-campus clubs to contribute to college events. We are looking for members. To join, visit the Office of Student Experience and Leadership or email

Lead with integrity. Disregard the impossible. Born out of the desire to build better leaders, shape our communities and be mindful of public stewardship, the Directors of Student Life & Leadership Council first brought a campus-based session of the LeaderShape Institute to MCCCD in 2005. Since then, we have graduated approximately 60 students each year. Student graduates have gone on to launch a careers as a public speakers; created programs on their campuses and within their communities that have made available new scholarships, raised awareness on issues like immigration and improved childhood literacy; run for public office; and, simply have the courage to lead from where they are – as a parent, a partner, a child, a student and a community member. Just to name a few!

If you’d like the chance to be the next difference-maker in our community, then come back to this web page. Each year, the online application is available February through April. Eight students from SCC will be selected to attend the Institute to be held sometime in May. No cost to you – only six days and five nights of your time for an experience that will change your life! Join us if you like to lead with integrity and develop a healthy disregard for the impossible.

For more info, stop by the Office of Student Experience and Leadership or email

Scottsdale Community College participates in the America Reads Program. This program allows SCC students to tutor community partner students in reading and assist in the classroom at local K-8 schools or agencies. Students will need to commit approximately 10-20 hours per week.

Program Requirements

  • Qualify and be awarded Federal Work-Study Funds
  • Possess personal transportation or access to public transit
  • Agree to fingerprinting, drug and/or background check, where required

For more info, stop by the Office of Student Experience and Leadership or email