What is service-learning? 

Service-learning is a “…form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development” (Jacoby, 1996).  Service-learning is a teaching strategy used to advance academic learning through civic engagement. The CCE connects communities to WSU faculty and students to work on issues to impact our community while deepening the understanding of course content. 

The CCE supports faculty to integrate one of three different types of service-learning into their courses: Course Project, Placement, and/or CCE-Led Projects.

Course Projects

These are courses designed to have students work in groups with a community partner on a specific project. The project needs to align with course learning objectives. Partners are asked to have a fairly clear idea of the scope of work they are looking to accomplish and will need to be responsive to student questions and correspondence throughout the course of the semester.  


These are courses designed to have students find a volunteer opportunity on their own. Some courses are very broad in their requirements for volunteer projects, and others have specific things they want their students to do. For example, the course could require students to work with children from Preschool to 12th grade in some sort of capacity. Or they may require that students do something environmentally focused. 

CCE-Led Projects 

Each semester the CCE organizes projects with partnering organizations within 50 miles of the Pullman Campus. These projects are led by a trained undergraduate student CCE staff member who coordinates transportation for small groups of volunteers and on-site project facilitation. 

We host three cycles of CCE-Led Projects each year, based on the semester timeline: 

  • Fall: Late August – Mid-December 
  • Spring: Early January – Late April 
  • Summer: Late May – Mid-August 

Projects that qualify for this program would meet the CCE’s Characteristics of Civic Engagement, would require a group of 4-6 students periodically (I.e. weekly) throughout the semester cycle and would have a clearly defined need and objective articulated by the community partner. Other considerations to utilize a CCE-Led project include the availability of CCE resources and student interest in the potential project. 

Connecting Community Partners and Research

Beyond the three types of service-learning, WSU also participates in community-based research (CBR).  CBR brings together university researchers and community partners to use their combined knowledge to find solutions to complex social justice issues. CBR projects are typically undertaken by university faculty or graduate students in partnership with the community.

CBR Resources