Skip to main content

High-Impact Practices (HIPs)

Service Learning, Community-Based Learning

What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with course content and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach social and civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Supporting Research


Service Learning Application and Approvals Timeline

For Fall classes:
Application deadline for faculty January 31
Provisional Approval to faculty of Service Learning concept February 15
Service Learning class deliverables (syllabus and project assignment) March 31
Dispersal of grant monies April 15
For Spring classes:
Application deadline for faculty August 31
Provisional Approval to faculty of Service Learning concept September 15
Service Learning class deliverables (syllabus and project assignment) October 31
Dispersal of grant monies November 15

Reflective Assignments

Service Reflection Toolkit
Reflection Paper Prompt Service Learning

Engaging Discussion Topics

Use the following questions to help your students think about their relationship to the community, its needs and priorities, and how they might make a difference through a Service Learning project:

  • What would you define as “your community”? Is it your school, your neighborhood, your city, your state? How would you describe it?
  • How do you feel about your connection to your community? Connected? Unconcerned? Useful? Ignored? Needed? Try to explain why you feel this way.
  • What makes you feel proud about your community? What are the benefits of being a part of your community? What are you doing to sustain/support/build these positive traits?
  • How do you think you will know when the community values your input? What are the ways you can share your opinions with the community? Where is your power?
  • What things about your community make you sad, disappointed, frustrated or even angry? How might your neighborhood, school or community be a better place? What could you do to make a difference?


INSTRUCTORS: You might want to use these questions as a guide to start discussion with your class about service. You could write and add discipline specific questions to the list to focus the conversation.


If students do not seem to have a clear vision of their place in community, try some of the following strategies to get them thinking about their potential power.

  • Work as a class to define what creates community. (where we work, play, travel, …) List what you appreciate about our community. What is working? Define concerns you have about our community. Talk about how we might effect change.
  • Have the students identify their own assets. What are you good at that you could share with the community? Tutoring? Construction skills? Automotive training? Reading to children? Landscaping? Fundraising? Health and Medicine? Seniors? Animal Rescue? Crisis Support? Etc.
  • Have students survey other students or community members. Have students read the local newspapers to foster an awareness of the concerns and successes of our community. (Report, Reflect, Action, Reflect again.)
  • Research via the databases a particular service organization and report on possible ways PPCC or individuals could get involved. (Red Cross, Care and Share, CASA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Fostering Hope, Marian House, Habitat for Humanity, etc) Go to our PPCC LibGuide for resources and help.
  • Encourage students to investigate the many service projects on PPCC. (Report, Reflect, Action, Reflect again.)
  • Share a time when you engaged in a service project. How did the experience affect your attitude or feelings toward service?
  • Ask students to research children who are food insecure when school is not in session.


Resources for Substantive Conversations

Teaching Tolerance - A thoughtful essay about the days after the election in classrooms.

PBS - A lesson plan about democracy and healing divisions

Newsela - A factual article about the election that can be changed for different reading levels in English and Spanish.

Election Processing Community Circle Activity - Helping students of all ages talk about the election.

How to lead thoughtful, constructive conversations:

  • Talk about issues and not personalities
  • Identify concerns
  • Process emotions
  • Process next steps

HIPs Faculty Specialists are peer experts who are ready to assist fellow faculty to implement or improve high impact practices. 

Loading ...

Pikes Peak Community College Libraries
Information ∞ Inquiry ∞ Learning