News & Announcements

Patty Loew / Photo by Jeff Miller

Explore spring 2017 service learning classes

Posted Oct 24, 2016


Gain real-world experience.

Earn course credit.

Give back.

Service Learning courses offer all that and more, and over 30 departments offer the classes. Now’s the time to check out the listing and register for one.

The listing of spring 2017 Service Learning courses can be found here, including more than 40 classes being offered next semester. And more classes will be added in the coming weeks.

Service Learning courses (also known as Community-based Learning courses) are just like any class available for credit at UW-Madison, but these courses also get students involved in service and real-world experience by including a hands-on project with a local community partner.

“It’s important to detach yourself from this bubble we live in at the university and find out what’s actually happening in the community,” said past Service Learning student Mariel White. “It was one of my favorite classes because we all got very close.”

In Service Learning courses, students engage in at least 25 hours of volunteer work with a community partner in addition to regular classroom learning. This volunteer work can come in the form of direct service, project-based service or community-based research that directly compliments the course content.

Students learn about the concepts and theories of a subject, and then go out and experience that subject in the real world. It’s the opportunity to move beyond the classroom and textbooks.

“It’s not enough for us to glean the abilities to think critically and communicate effectively for ourselves,” said Mark Pan, who took Biology 375. “We must apply these skills to the betterment of our communities.”

Spring 2017 course offerings range from the hard sciences to the liberal arts. Classes include:

Journalism 475: Social Media and the News

Management and Human Resources 401: Management of Teams

Nursing 590: Community Support for People with Dementia

Computer Science 401: Introducing Computer Science to K-12 Students

Courses are designed both to meet the needs of the community and also to provide students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of course content through the knowledge and expertise of their community partner.

UW-Madison class surveys consistently find Service Learning classes help students better understand course content. One survey recently found that over 91 percent of Service Learning students at UW-Madison got more out of their Service Learning course than a traditional course.

Additionally, research shows that students enrolled in Service Learning courses earn higher GPAs and gain better critical thinking skills.

Students interested in enrolling in a Service Learning course should browse the spring 2017 course listing here or talk with their advisor.