Community service is a form of volunteerism that has no intentional tie to learning; the emphasis is strictly on the service. Service-learning on the other hand is a teaching methodology that emphasizes both the service and the learning goals in such a way that both are enriched. In addition, service-learning meets a genuine community need, includes thoughtful partnerships, and have clear connections to learning objectives.
(Adapted from the National Youth Leadership Council )

If ever unsure,
determine if the project/activity is:

  • Meeting a community need
  • Connecting to learning outcomes in an academic course
  • Allowing appropriate time for reflection to assess the impact of the service on student learning

The above criteria should be explored to determine the validity of service-learning activities.