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Acting Director of Service-Learning
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-7512
Reflective Service-Learning in General Education
Rooted in the mission of Eckerd College and the goals of the General Education Program, the Reflective Service-Learning (RSL) experience aims to help students understand their roles and responsibilities as engaged global citizens. The program encourages students to engage in service early on and throughout their tenure at Eckerd, while also emphasizing service-learning connected to their academic and professional pursuits.
What is Reflective Service-Learning?
Reflective Service-Learning, as defined by Eckerd's General Education program, is: A carefully monitored service experience in which a student
- has intentional learning goals,
- critically reflects on what is learned throughout the experience in such a way as to lead to academic enhancement, civic learning and personal growth,
- addresses community or global issues and
- develops an understanding of their roles and responsibilities as engaged citizens
In contrast to volunteering or community service, reflective service-learning emphasizes the connection between meaningful service and transformative learning. Participants combine practical experience with reflection, leading to an understanding of the social, political, and economic issues at play in their service project. Furthermore, service-learning moves beyond charity, paying attention to deeper matters of justice and community enrichment. Service-learning is rooted in principles of reciprocity and mutual empowerment, where all participants- students, faculty, and community- benefit, learn, and evolve.
Critical reflection is the process of making meaning of experience, and should generate learning in the areas of academic enhancement, civic learning, and personal growth. Completion of the reflective service-learning experience in General Education will require reflection exercises linked to each experience. Documentation of these reflective activities will provide content for the RSL portfolio.