Community Service Learning

Service-Learning Designated Courses

Passionate about serving your community? Willamette University offers a variety of courses that incorporate opportunities to engage! The following courses have been Service-Learning designated, meaning they meet Willamette's quality standards for effectiveness in incorporating service into the curriculum. Please check with the faculty member listed in the course catalog to ensure the service-learning component is being included this semester.

IDS 215: Willamette Academy Service Learning (.5)

Course Description: This service learning course introduces students to issues of educational access and equity in the Salem-Keizer community. Weekly class sessions, in general, will have two components: students will debrief their service experiences and study substantive topics dealing with educational access and equity, with specific attention to issues that historically underrepresented students face in gaining access to higher education.

Service Description: Students volunteer at Willamette Academy (WA) and, in turn, learn from and with the WA students, families, and staff. Tutoring will be on-site, covering basic academic subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies. Mentoring involves hosting WA students on the Willamette campus for academic and social events. Additional volunteer opportunities will be available, subject to the instructor's consent, based on volunteers' strengths and interests, and WA needs.


HIST 307: American Immigrant History (1)

Course Description: This course will explore the major themes and debates in American immigration history. Topics will include key migration waves, immigration policy, acculturation and attitudes towards immigrants, with an emphasis on the post-Civil War period. Methodological issues in researching immigrant history will also be explored. 

Service Description: Students will have the opportunity to perform community service aimed at better understand immigrant experiences and policies, and connecting historical student to current social issues. Students will arrange a service assignment based on their research interests.


PSYC 340: Psychology of Learning (1)

Course Description: A systematic introduction to the nature of the learning process, emphasizing a topical/theoretical orientation. Major topics covered include the historical legacy of neobehaviorism, classic and contemporary Pavlovian conditions, techniques of instrumental learning, the nature of reinforcement, aversive learning, generalization and discrimination, and recent developments in the field. A service-learning component is included.

Service Description: Student will have the opportunity to carry out service with Marion County Dog Control. Following an orientation, students will be asked to volunteer over the course of the term, finding ways to apply course concepts while working with the dogs.


SPAN 331: Spanish Composition/Discussion (1)

(As taught by Professor Patricia Varas)

Course Description: Oral and written compositions based upon readings of texts emphasizing Spanish culture and literary vocabulary needed in more advanced letters courses. Exercises in syntax and introductory phonetics. Conducted in Spanish.

Service Description: Students will serve as tutors to Latin@ youth in the Salem Keizer School District for approximately two hours a week. Through these tutoring sessions, students will apply the linguistic and cultural knowledge gained in class while at the same time contributing to the needs of the community and the development of students’ abilities related to critical thinking, cultural knowledge, and civic engagement.



Other Courses that Incorporate Service

ANTH 344: Medical Anthropology (1)

This course introduces students to medical anthropology. By exploring human health, sickness and healing from diverse theoretical and cross-cultural perspectives, students will learn how different peoples around the world: conceptualize the human body, explain the causes of disease, manage patients and healers, contend with stress, and articulate the meaning and origin of social suffering. The course has a service-learning component.


ECON 394: Major Program Internship (1 or 2)

Supervised interns apply and extend principles developed in the Economics majors in public and private sector placements. Students accepted for this course will normally have second-semester Junior or Senior standing and will have completed most of the courses required for the Economics major. Interns work 10-12 hours a week at the internship site, complete an analytical paper based on a project under the guidance of the instructor and the off-campus internship supervisor, and attend periodic class meetings with other interns. Two credits are granted only in exceptional circumstances.


ED 305: Intro to Teaching (.5)

A writing-centered study of teaching through classroom field experiences, service-learning, simulations, readings, and written reflections and critiques. Lesson presentations and evaluations by the student, peers, and faculty on the student's potential as a teacher. Includes 24 hours of practicum in public school classrooms. (Weekly 2-3 hour blocks recommended.) Not open to first-semester freshmen.


ENGL 135: Creative Writing (1)

Writing and analysis of short fiction, poetry, or drama at the beginning level. Writers will explore verbal and imaginative resources and the act of creation with language.


ENVR 105: Intro to Environmental Science (1)

An introduction to environmental science designed to promote an understanding of the effect of human actions on the natural world. Topics include human impacts on atmospheric, aquatic, and terrestrial systems; human population dynamics; environmental perceptions and ethics; and the concept of sustainability. The course includes a service-learning component. Lectures, discussion, films, readings.


HIST 315: Western Civilization and Sustainability: Beginnings to 1600 (1)

This course is an introduction to the historical roots of sustainability design to examine the thought and practices which have marked interactions between humans and the environment in the West prior to 1600. Focusing on key moments that have contributed significantly to the current context--the transition to agriculture, classical Athens, the later middle ages, and the age of global commerce, colonization, and scientific progress--the course will analyze 'green' versus traditional histories, interpret data about resource use, and analyze primary texts that speak to the human-nature relationship. The course will challenge students to analyze the extent to which our current thought and practices have roots in the historical past, understand humans' relationship to the environment as integral to the narrative of history in the West, analyze traditional historical categories such as periodization, causation, and narrative structure, and use the lens of sustainability to examine how values shape historical narratives.


IDS 205: Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program (.5)

This service-learning course introduces students to the history of contemporary challenges in American Indian education. Students serve as tutors and mentors at the Chemawa Indian School of Salem in support of college preparatory programs, and in turn, are mentored by Native American adult educators. Tutoring will be on-site, covering basic academic subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies. Mentoring will include hosting Chemawa students on the Willamette campus for academic and social events.


LAS 251: Latin American Cultures (1)

This course provides an introduction to major aspects of Latin American Cultures (especially indigenous cultures), including the following: conquest history, ethnicity, national identity, religion, healing, politics, gender, media representations, Latinos in the U.S., and language. A service-learning component involves work with a local community agency serving Latinos.


POLI 303: Topics in Political Theory - Death in America (1)

This course examines selected topics and themes in political theory, combining conceptual and normative analysis with applications to actual social and political institutions, processes and phenomena. Designation of specific topics will be made at the time of course offering.


PSYC 348: Stress and Health (1)

This course will explore the psychological, biological, and sociological influences that affect individual's abilities to cope with stress and illness and promote health. Topics to be examined include how the body's systems function, the promotion of health-enhancing behaviors and the prevention of health-compromising behaviors, stress and its effects on the individual, coping with stress, coping with pain and chronic illnesses, the interface between stress and cardiovascular disease, and psychoneuroimmunology.


PSYC 498: Senior Internship in Psychology I

Practical experience obtained through either a field internship at a community agency engaging in work related to psychology, or through a research internship in which students conduct original research under supervision. This course serves as prerequisite for PSYC 499, and together PSYC 498 and PSYC 499 fulfill the Senior Year Experience requirement for Psychology majors. Internship may not begin prior to successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment with PSYC 253.