Overview of Service Learning Program

At Marquette, service is one of the four pillars in the university's mission statement. It holds an important place in the Jesuit credos of cura personalis ("care for the whole person") and "women and men for others." Each year Marquette students perform more than 150,000 hours of service within the Milwaukee community. The Center for Community Service, located in Student Affairs, coordinates the majority of the student community service efforts. The Service Learning Program, which began in 1994, is a separate unit, housed within the Office of the Provost as part of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and coordinates community-based learning experiences within courses across the curriculum. The Center for Teaching and Learning also houses Manresa for Faculty, E-Learning, and Faculty Professional Development Workshops and Programs. Collectively, these programs partner with faculty to prepare Marquette students to be agents of change for a global community.

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What is service learning?

Service learning is an academic program that enables students to perform community service related to their courses. Each semester, many professors at Marquette offer their students a service option as a means to learn in practice what they are learning in theory in the classroom. Agencies and schools in the community benefit from the services provided by the students and become partners in their education as well. Service learning classes are offered in many departments and demonstrate the creative expertise of faculty committed to extending their discipline's work into local communities. Currently, approximately 1,200 to 1,300 students from 55 to 65 university courses are placed at 100 to 125 community agencies each semester.

Service learning versus volunteerism versus internships


Community Service

Service Learning


Primary Intended Beneficiary Recipient Recipient and Provider  Provider
Primary Focus Service Service and Learning  Learning
Intended Educational Purposes Civic and Ethical Development Academic and Civic Development Career and Academic Development
Integration with Curriculum Peripheral  Integrated Co-Curricular/
Integration with Curriculum Based on Social Cause Based on Academic Discipline Based on Industry or Career