the neighborhood

Community Development Service Learning

What is Community Development Service Learning?

Service Learning in the United States was conceived and designed for the education of students. Consequently, it has often exploited communities that were used as student training grounds. This site began with a focus on how to develop higher education service learning programs to make positive community impact the first priority of service learning. It has now led to the development of an actual model. Community Development Service Learning, or CDSL, is designing service learning to serve community-determined community development goals. It follows the principles of community development laid out by the Community Development Society. The principles are elaborated and applied in a paper by Randy Stoecker and Mary Beckman for Campus Compact, and build on a project listening to community reactions to service learning documented in the book The Unheard Voices:  Community Organizations and Service Learning, edited by Randy Stoecker and Elizabeth Tryon with Amy Hilgendorf, and published by Temple University Press.

Thank you for visiting.

Randy Stoecker
Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology

Monday 11 October 2010 - 10:54:08

Research Report:  "No One Asked Me."  A Survey of Wisconsin County Extension Educators' Experiences with Higher Education Service-Learners

This study reports the results of a survey of 142 Wisconsin county-based Extension educators asking about their experiences with service learning.  Access the report here.

Sunday 25 October 2009 - 11:54:08

New Book: The Unheard Voices: Community Organizations and Service Learning

This book, based on discussions with 67 community organization staff members, paints a very different picture of service learning than we are used to. In their own words, community organization staff members talk about why they take on service learners, and what they like and don't like about service learning today. You can find out more and get the book from Temple University Press or your local community-based bookstore.

Monday 09 March 2009 - 12:26:52

Campus-Community Knowledge Exchange

A summit of Madison area faculty and community organization leaders took place on February 23, 2009, at the Madison Area Technical College downtown campus. Among the activities was a "walk-about" session where participants brainstormed ideas around how to improve service learning. You can access the results of that session by using this link.

Saturday 18 October 2008 - 12:57:33

Survey of Wisconsin community organization staff reactions to service learning

What do Wisconsin nonprofit staff think of service learning? Here are the draft results of a survey returned by 108 Wisconsin nonprofit organizations who have experience with service learners. Click here to access the report.

Sunday 24 August 2008 - 17:02:34

Access to Service Learning in Rural Areas

Do small and medium size nonprofits in rural areas have the same access to service learning as those in urban areas. The answer is a resounding no. Urban nonprofits are at least six times more likely than rural organizations to host service learners. Click here to see the report.

Tuesday 01 July 2008 - 11:46:03

Report Available "For Community's Sake"

Many thanks to the 40+ of you who participated "For Community's Sake" to help maximize the community impact of service learning. We now have the conference report drafted and are welcoming comments on it. Click here to read the conference report .

Saturday 16 February 2008 - 17:17:21

For Community's Sake: Maximizing the Community Impact of Service Learning

Our work in Madison, focusing on the community side of service learning, is now spreading across the state of Wisconsin. As part of that expansion, we are organizing a day-long meeting/workshop on the issues surrounding the community side of service learning. You can get more information by using this link.

Friday 01 December 2006 - 15:38:09

Community Standards for Service Learning

We now have a complete draft of the Community Standards for Service Learning brochure. The brochure lists the recommendations of community agencies for better service learning relationships.

Click here to review and comment on the brochure, and to access the resources supporting it.

Thursday 06 July 2006 - 15:52:42

Service Learning Contract Templates

We have collected some examples of service learning contracts. Please look at them and leave us your comments on which ones you prefer and why.

Click here to see the contract templates.

Community Impact Gathering

Community standards for service learning

The report on Madison community organizations and service learning

Recommendations from the May 9 meeting with community organizations

Discussion notes from the May 19 meeting with faculty

Service learning contract templates

How to evaluate service learning

Service learning problems and solutions