Connecting learning with the real world
With service learning, students gain hands-on experience, employability skills, and academic credit while serving the community. Service learning projects are part of many courses and programs at the NWTC. A few examples:
- Medical Assistant students may assist in registering people at a bone marrow drive.
- Dental Hygiene students teaching kindergarteners about proper tooth brushing.
- Accounting students offering free tax-preparation services through a national service organization.
What is service learning?
Service learning, also called "community-based learning," gives students opportunities to engage in projects and services with community partners. Those partnerships and experiences then help the student learn core competencies and employability skills related to their academic program and classes. Service learning is not the same as volunteering. People volunteer time, money, and talent as ways to give to the community.
What is civic engagement?
Sometimes students engage community partners for reasons other than learning program or class competencies. These community engagements might involve lessons in citizenship or to engage and understand diversity in the community. Rather than a class requirement, this may be done through a student club or peer groups. These types of engagement experiences are known as "civic engagement." A few examples:
- An engineering technology student club volunteers over a weekend at a local food pantry.
- International students give presentations about their home country at a local middle school.
Where can I find service learning, civic engagement, and non-profit internship opportunities?
For service learning, talk to your academic advisor or program faculty mentor to learn more about service learning opportunities and requirements for your program.
For civic engagement and volunteering, you may find opportunities on your own or through area volunteer centers and organizations:
For non-profit internship experience work with the NWTC Career Services team.
How do I verify my service learning or civic engagement experiences?
- NWTC does not currently have a formal verification form or process for verifying service learning experiences. Your instructor should provide you with any required verification forms for their specific courses through Blackboard, as well as instructions on how to verify the service experience.
- For civic engagement experiences, such as for student club requirements, please refer to student club verification forms and/or requirements or talk to your club advisor for more details.
Are there ways to do service learning or civic engagement after graduation?
NWTC graduates may find that full-time service experiences are a great way to build their resumes and their employability. Graduates can consider:
- AmeriCorps – “Get things done for America” with a post-graduate service experience.
- Peace Corps - After a bachelor’s degree or combination of an associate degree and career experience, graduates may also consider international experiences with the US Peace Corps.
For Community Partners
Looking for ways to recruit NWTC students? Some NWTC programs may make excellent partners for your service learning projects. Reach out to those academic program offices to coordinate communication with prospective faculty teams.
Unsure where to begin?
Contact the NWTC Learning Solutions team: firstname.lastname@example.org.