Mission, Goals, and Objectives


Following in the Jesuit tradition of faithful service, the Service Learning Program at Marquette University facilitates student academic learning through meaningful service experiences, which encourage and enable Marquette's faculty and students to positively impact the community. The Service Learning Program seeks to bring campus and community together in partnership to share resources, meet real community needs, and help educate women and men to become the change agents of tomorrow.

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Program Goals

  • To enhance students' learning by enabling them to practice skills and test classroom knowledge through related service experiences in the local community.
  • To enable students to provide needed assistance to community agencies and to the people served by the agencies.
  • To assist faculty in their role as facilitators of service learning and in their engagement with the community.
  • To provide leadership training and development opportunities for the service learning staff. 

Program Objectives

  • To recruit faculty who are willing to include a service option in one or more of their courses.
  • To assist faculty in designing the service learning portion of their classes.
  • To inform students about service learning as it applies to their specific classes.
  • To secure relevant community placement sites for each service learning course.
  • To assist students as they enroll in service learning, choose placements  and become established in their agencies.
  • To prepare students to engage in meaningful service.
  • To assist service learners to make connections between their community experiences and the larger world, focusing especially on social justice issues.
  • To monitor students' service and report results to faculty.
  • To provide student staff with diverse and rich employment and leadership experiences.
  • To disseminate information about service learning outside the immediate campus and community.

Undergraduate Co-Curricular Learning Outcomes

After completion of course-based service learning (placement model), the student is able to:

  1. Appreciate people from diverse backgrounds.
  2. Exhibit a commitment to social justice.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to be an involved citizen in his or her community.
  4. Demonstrate an increased sense of vocation.

Community Impact Outcomes

As the result of a service learning partnership, Marquette is able to:

  1. Help the community partner meet the agency's mission.
  2. Promote the exchange of resources between the university and community agency.
  3. Effect a positive change on the community members the agency serves.
  4. Situate the university as a positive and just citizen in the community.

Commitment to Anti-Racism

The Center for Teaching and Learning- Service Learning Program recognizes that throughout the history of the United States and the world, community service and charity work have often led to problematic, ethnocentric, racist, oppressive, and unjust situations, where even good intentions had hurtful and harmful outcomes. Given this, our office commits to working through an anti-racist framework in our attempts to meet real community needs and work with our community to make it a better place for all. 

It is our belief that as part of our Jesuit mission, we must share our gifts and talents to meet the world’s greatest hungers and needs. Service with others is an important aspect of our faith tradition, our own formation, and is the very fabric of a good and moral life. Further, Marquette University has a vested interest in the empowerment and success of our community.  However, we must engage in a way that does not patronize the oppressed, but instead holds our neighbor up as our allies in the fight for a more just world. 

We commit to: 

Decolonizing community engagement work by including those that have been historically marginalized in decision making, program formation, teaching, training, and feedback. We seek to center and amplify the voices of those pushed to the margins. 

Continually reviewing and revising taken for granted structures, policies, and procedures that may reinforce a colonialist or white supremist approach to service and engagement. 

Providing the necessary preparation, training, and reflection to make sure service participants and leaders understand problematic power dynamics and blinding privilege. We will prepare our constituents to approach their work in the spirit of solidarity, co-learning, and partnership versus being experts, helpers, and saviors. 

Preparing a student body, faculty, and a program staff that continually seeks to build their own cultural competency, cultural empathy, and understands that this is a life-long learning journey. 

We stand in solidarity with people of different backgrounds and beliefs as our own, including differences in class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, nation of origin, age, ethnicity, aboriginality, language, education, geographic location, and immigration status. 

As Program leaders, we embrace a willingness to be disturbed and be open to critique. We will hold ourselves accountable as a team to reimagine and build a community of learning and service based in anti-racism, social justice, and liberation.