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Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism

Fostering the development of citizen-scholars.

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About Us

The Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism seeks to support and foster the university mission of service by preparing students to be engaged, aware and responsible citizens.


The mission of the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism is to engage students, faculty, and staff in meaningful service to the community. We develop educational programs and support service-learning initiatives that provide transformational experiences for our students in their development as citizen-scholars and strengthen our institution’s civic mission.

Saluki Volunteer Corps 

Students volunteer in at least 30 hours of community service per academic year at after-school programs, the public library, state parks, food pantries, reading newspapers for the visually impaired, or Habitat for Humanity.

Benefits of Volunteering

  1. Explore academic interests and new careers.
  2. Connect classroom theory to practice.
  3. Learn new skills and build professional contacts.
  4. Receive a Student Involvement Transcript to add to your resume.

Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps

Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps is a grant-based, community service project made possible through the Illinois Governor's Initiative and the Corporation for National Service in Washington, D.C. AmeriCorps members primarily focus their service in education, providing direct, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring assistance to teacher referred K-2 emergent learners, or middle-school students who would benefit from a relationship with a caring adult.

Benefits of AmeriCorps

Land of Lincoln members are eligible to receive the following benefits:

  1. A yearly stipend or living allowance in the sum of $6,641 in 10 checks.
  2. An education award in the amount of $2,865 upon successful completion of 900 hours.
  3. A portion of interest accrued on an existing education loan during the term of service.
  4. Leadership training and professional development opportunities at local and state levels.


Service-Learning takes place in credit-bearing courses that integrate academic content with real-world experience in community-based settings. There are over 80 service-learning courses at SIU across a wide spectrum of disciplines. In these courses, students aquire knowledge in their feild of study and an increased understanding of social issues.

Benefits of Service-Learning

  1. Put classroom concepts into practice.
  2. Get to know your professor's research interests.
  3. Develop communication, critical thinking and problem-solving.
  4. Explore possible career paths.
  5. Gain an understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives.

News from the Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism

Reese, Knapp Named Service Learning Faculty Fellows

Two faculty members will serve as fellows in a new program designed to improve student learning and community engagement.

Dona Reese, associate professor of social work, and Bobbi Knapp, assistant professor of kinesiology, will be the Service Learning Faculty Fellows during the 2015-2016 academic year. The fellowships, administered through the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Programs and the Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism, offer experience and skill development for university faculty members interested in service learning.

The program provides an opportunity for selected fellows to engage in ongoing activities of the associate provost and the service learning and volunteerism center. Fellows will assist and collaborate with colleagues on their service-learning courses. They will also collect and analyze data from the campus and community about outreach and partnerships between the university and the region.

James Allen, associate provost for academic programs, said the criteria for recognition by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching have expanded beyond research to include community engagement, such as service learning. “It is important that when we report to the Carnegie Foundation we demonstrate progress in service learning and volunteerism. Our hope is to create a richer campus culture of community engagement,” Allen said. 

Outstanding faculty members with this special expertise in service learning makes starting the new fellowship program much easier. Reese, the fall 2015 fellow, has a national reputation in community engagement in the social work of hospice care. Reese has demonstrated this research interest through her teaching based in the community.

“Reese’s commitment to eliminating homelessness in Carbondale by helping to develop a community collaboration, the Sparrow Coalition, will allow her to assist us in building a campus culture of service learning,” Allen said.

Knapp, the spring 2016 fellow, developed the “Step Up Campaign” as part of her service learning course on socio-economic inequality. Everyone needs to "step up” to address poverty. Knapp believes “being a faculty fellow for service learning will allow her to grow as a faculty member while enhancing the learning experience for her students and providing valuable services to the local community.”

Along with a direct impact on student learning, the new program also supports SIU’s larger role as a major research institution, Allen said. The university is fulfilling its commitment to the community defined by the Carnegie Foundation as “a partnership of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; to enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; to prepare educated, engaged citizens; to strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; to address critical societal issues; and to contribute to the public good.”

“That’s who we are at SIU; that’s just what we do,” Allen said. “I’m delighted that great faculty talent, like Dona and Bobbi, make it happen."

Guidelines and program information are available here.

Service Learning Faculty Fellow Guidelines

The Faculty Fellow for Service Learning is a semester- or academic-year-long fellowship intended to provide academic experience and skill development for a member of the University faculty who has an interest in service learning. The selected faculty member will engage in regular operations and activities of the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Programs and the Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism (CSLV). After some specialized training to increase skills and knowledge about service learning, the Fellow will be expected to participate in meetings of the Steering Committee on Community Engagement and other committees or projects pertaining to public service undertaken by the Associate Provost. (Guidelines)

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