Service learning generally revolves around some kind of social justice. Service learning opportunities are mainly volunteer programs, including Alternative Break programs and community service projects. We encourage our students to involve themselves in extracurricular activities and service learning opportunities are excellent ways of engaging with your community. Service learning opportunities do not necessarily have to utilize psychology principles but students who get involved in a service learning project usually find that they are able to use many of the skills learned in psychology courses.
An example of a service learning opportunity is taking PSYC381/391, two courses taught over the course of two semesters by Dr. Karen O'Brien. As her website states, students in PSYC 381 spend the semester learning about the complexities of addressing the epidemic of domestic violence. The following semester, students who successfully complete the first course have the opportunity to enroll in PSYC 391, the service learning experience where they put their learning into practice by volunteering to play with children affected by homelessness and domestic violence living in shelters in Washington D.C. Since the year 2000, over 140 students in this course have donated over 10,800 hours to their local community in service that helps those at the shelters, but mostly changes the students’ lives and perspectives.
Check out more available service learning opportunities on our blog.