Service Learning

Service Learning at Lewis University

Service Learning Brochure

Welcome to the site for the Office of Service Learning at Lewis University. Service learning is deeply embedded in the Lewis University Mission. The Office of Service Learning (OSL) strives to build connections with and contribute to our local and global communities through service learning. The OSL staff also hopes to works with faculty, students, and community partners to extend student learning through rich community service experiences which fulfill course objectives and student learning outcomes for service learning.

Through these web pages, we hope to offer insight into our programming as well as possible resources for enhancing understanding of service learning. As the Office continues to grow, our goal is to provide faculty with varied and effective resources to support course revision and development. We will also continue to build community partnerships and increase our listings of local and regional community agencies that have worked or hope to work with our office, interested faculty and students.

Your input, suggestions and comments are immensely helpful to us as we try to make our Office an asset to Faculty, Students, Staff and Community Partners alike. Please feel free to contact us and let us know how we might better serve you through this website and beyond.

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What is Service Learning?

Service learning at Lewis University is an experiential pedagogy in which faculty and community partners co-determine structured opportunities for students to meet academic learning outcomes and contribute to goals in community. Service learning experiences are integrated with course materials, activities, and directed reflection that enable students to practice social and civic responsibility while deepening disciplinary knowledge and skills.

Service Learning Outcomes

Through Service learning courses, projects, or programs, students will:

  • Identify service and civic responsibility as personal and professional priorities
  • Integrate academic course content with experience in an engaged, practical settingHave confidence that s/he can be an agent of change
  • Be effective, collaborative leaders
  • Be a self-reflective person in order to gain an understanding of local and global communities

Connection to Lewis University Mission

The Mission of Lewis University encouraged the concept of service learning. “Lewis promotes the development of the complete person through the pursuit of wisdom and justice. Fundamental to its mission is a spirit of association which fosters community in all teaching, learning, and service.”

Service learning promotes the Lewis Mission: Service learning compels our students to explore academic objectives (knowledge), learn life lessons from their experiences with the communities they serve (wisdom), and express their faith through service (fidelity). Service learning also promotes a community of caring among our students who work as a team on their projects and among the faculty and staff who facilitate their projects (association). Together faculty staff and students through service learning work to promote justice.

OSL Mission & Vision

The Mission
The Office of Service Learning at Lewis University promotes the common good through the development of academic opportunities to apply learning by meeting real-world needs. In collaboration with community agencies and faculty members, students engage with the community through service, explore realities of justice and injustice, and are transformed by reflecting on their experiences in light of course and program objectives.

The Vision
Service learning, a recognized component of educational excellence, is part of the scholarly culture of Lewis University. Through the experience of service learning, students engage with the community through service explore realities of justice and injustice, and reflect on their experiences in light of course objectives and resources. Service learning within local, national, and global communities is transformative.

Contact Information

Laura Wilmarth Tyna
Director of Service Learning
(815) 836-5848

Dr. Christie Billups
Curriculum Development Advisor
(815) 836-5829

Jake Smith
Graduate Assistant
Office of Service Learning
(815) 836-5023


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Students Voice Their Experiences

  • Service Learning

    Erin Cox

    Forest Preserve District of Will County (State and Local Government)

    "Personally, the sense of community that I felt each time I participated in the [service learning portion] is stronger than any other I've experienced. I was naturally apprehensive to mingle with the already-close volunteer group, but I was quickly welcomed into this elite group of dedicated volunteers. Each volunteer has such a pure and genuine passion for making a different, and the diversity in demographic was really quite refreshing to see..."

  • Service Learning

    Alec Koczka

    Kane County Forest Preserve (State and Local Government)

    "Doing this service learning project has taken me on an interesting path. It has made me a better, more appreciative person for the environment. The next time we are just sitting on the couch or texting bored out of our minds start thinking what could we do to become civically engaged. Our opportunity is waiting, get motivated and get into your community."

  • Carolyn Micetic

    Warren-Sharpe Community Center (Public Relations)

    "My service learning class this semester at Lewis was beyond amazing. I worked with a community center in Joliet. I learned so much about what having a real PR job is actually like. The real world experiences taught me way more than any other class I have had before. The part I liked the most was being able to help the community center with my knowledge of PR. I would highly recommend a service learning class to anyone who hasn't had one before."

  • Service Learning

    Nicole Krage

    Addison Community Switchboard (Public Relations)

    "The service learning component was such a great experience because not only was I able to strengthen my PR skills, but I did that while working with an organization that does great things for its community. It's nice to know that the work I did and the tools I created really matter. It was a wonderful opportunity to make a difference"