Service Learning

Community/Campus Partnerships Information

Service-learning provides great benefits for communities as well as the students, teachers, faculty, schools and campuses when these are joined in partnerships to work together to help meet community needs.

Though community can be defined in numerous ways, a general description could simply define it as: a group of people sharing common goals or interests. Communities have many unmet needs which could provide excellent learning opportunities for various disciplines, subject areas and ages of individuals. Nonprofit organizations, agencies, programs, schools and other "communities" welcome, and can benefit from, student involvement to bring fresh new perspectives, problem solving skills, expertise, and extra hands to help meet their needs.

Steps to develop and build partnerships for service

  • Determine potential partners
  • Identify needs of each partner
  • Develop plans/procedures to meet needs
  • Determine desired outcomes or learning goals for all involved
  • Orient/train all individuals to be involved
  • Determine reflection and evaluation methods
  • Build in recognition and celebration of accomplishments

If interested in building a partnership, community members and faculty are encouraged to contact the UNK Office for Service-Learning for connections and personal contact information. Many partnerships already exist between campus and the community, and others are interested in developing these connections.

Information about UNK faculty who are currently, or have recently, implemented service-learning in the classroom curriculum, is also available through this Office. Faculty from all four of the UNK colleges have participated in service-learning training institutes and would be interested in sharing information with other interested faculty members.

Examples of UNK faculty/student work in the community

  • Business and Communications professors work with classes and community members to build web pages, Power Point presentations, databases, business plans, plan community events, develop needed resources, etc. for nonprofit agencies
  • Student groups work with rural Nebraska communities to determine needs and provide resources and assistance in meeting their needs
  •  Social Work and Criminal Justice  faculty members involve students in assisting disadvantaged, abused, foster care children or other children in need 
  • Education professors have students serving to meet needs of individuals with disabilities, elders, youth at-risk,  and area museums.  ESL/ELL students serve with English Language Learners in the elementary schools and after school programs as well as helping adults in the community
  • English professor has student completing research and writing about a community need. Students complete 20 hours of service in the identified agency/program to help meet the specific need and present new knowledge to fellow classmates. 

Contact Information 

Call the UNK Office for Service-Learning for community contacts or additional information 308-865-8957. Email:stirtzg@unk.edu (email preferred)