Expanding knowledge and taking responsibility for effecting positive change throughout Texas communities are core values at The University of Texas at Austin. The Academic Service-Learning Program furthers these core values by facilitating the collaboration of students, instructors, and community partners on service projects that are beneficial to everyone involved.
What is Community-based Learning?
Community-based Learning, also known as academic service-learning, is
- A form of experiential education in which students in a credit-bearing course engage in activities that address community priorities;
- A program of study that integrates service with student learning outcomes;
A method of pedagogy in which service and learning are equally critical components.
Two aspects distinguish academic service-learning from volunteerism or an internship.
- Reflection activities help students connect what they learn through their service with the theoretical background that is set forth through course materials.
- Reciprocity between the organization being served and those engaged in service promotes a sense of mutual responsibility. Students feel a sense of belonging in the community and community partners feel empowered to bring in the resources they need to meet a priority.
With reciprocity and reflection, the service-learning activity enables students to collaborate with community partners to create sustainable long-term solutions to complex problems.
Austin City Hall Fellows
The Austin City Hall Fellows is a partnership of the LCCE and the City of Austin and was founded in 2014 with the creation of single-member city council districts in Austin. The goal of the program is to mobilize UT students in community organizing and asset-mapping as a way of building capacity for the City to do outreach.
The ACHF program is comprised of a co-curricular/teambuilding component and a service-learning class, LA212C, with the AVP for Community Engagement and Economic Development as the instructor of record. An LCCE GRA has a prominent role in the construction of the course and teaching and advising of students, and we have a course assistant who is a former Fellow.
Community-Based Learning Symposium
The Center for Community Engagement hosts annual Community-Based Learning & Research symposium each spring on the UT Austin campus. The purpose of the symposia is to gather faculty, community partners to promote learning and idea-sharing around community-based learning and research.