Skip to main content

Teach With Service-Learning

The principles of service-learning are similar to that of experiential education, in that students are most apt to retain course content when they are given an opportunity to actually see the discipline functioning in "the real world," so to speak. Each discipline taught at the university level can be made relevant to the complexities of our communities and, indeed ought to be made relevant if there is not a direct and obvious correlation between its theoretical base and today's social, political, economic, and even scientific interactions. It is the very relevancy of the disciplines taught at Willamette University that gives the pedagogy of service-learning a natural foothold in our diverse courses.

Create a Service-Learning Course or Use our Resources

Contact Tommy Van Cleave to learn about the Service-Learning Assistant program and the academic resources that we have available.

Faculty Testimonials

Headshot of Professor Patricia Varas
Professor of Spanish


Service learning fosters an environment of respect and openness in the classroom. Through it the students become aware that we are not value-free in our judgments and that language acquisition is part of learning culture.
Headshot of Professor David Craig
Professor of Biology


My birdhouse community project is not about teaching bird names, providing habitat, or how to define a niche; it is about learning about the relationships, connections, and interdependence every organism has with one another. Service-learning is recognizing that every person is a lifetime learner and most are hungry for knowledge. As a scientist, I feel a special responsibility to make my technical expertise available to people outside of my lab or classroom. Outreach keeps me grounded in my scholarly work. When I can't easily explain what I do to a 7th grader, a 17-year-old, and a 70-year-old, then I probably don't really know what I am doing!

Willamette University

Office of Civic Engagement

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6463 voice
503-370-6407 fax