In accordance with its Jesuit mission to educate men and women for others, community-engaged learning (also referred to as service-learning) at Gonzaga University encourages students to deepen their understanding of community and social justice through exploring links between service and academic work. Community-engaged learning has been incorporated into Gonzaga courses for over twenty-five years. One of the nation’s most impressive movements in higher education, community-engaged learning unites classroom theory and rigor with direct experience and thoughtful action in the larger civic community.
Over 100 community-engaged learning courses sections are offered to Gonzaga students every year. Community-engaged learning courses can be found in almost every academic department and the Law School. Departments including business, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, education and others, are committed to integrating community service as an instrument to achieve academic goals. A typical community-engaged learning course involves 20 hours of outside service that reinforces the course content. Students interested in taking community-engaged learning courses can find them on ZAGWEB through the “community engaged learning” attribute search.
Academic community-engaged learning differs from community service in that the service is performed in the context of an academic course. This researched high impact teaching and learning practice contributes to success both inside and outside of the classroom. The students’ community-based experiences enhance and build upon the learning that is being done in the classroom. These experiences both enhance student learning, as well as help to develop an ethic of service. Students are asked to reflect upon their experiences and to apply these insights to the course material.
Gonzaga’s community-engaged learning program is managed by the Center for Community Engagement with guidance from the faculty-led Community Engaged Learning Advisory Board (CELAB). The Center provides resources for students and faculty, placements in the community, and a network of campus and community connections.