Community Service Learning Center Ties Service, Learning Together

PULLMAN, Wash. — Sometimes Washington State University students and faculty members want to learn or teach material other than through a lecture.

They have found a way to apply concepts taught in class through incorporating community service with learning: service learning. WSU’s Community Service Learning Center provides a link between community needs and the educational goals of WSU students and faculty.

Last year, Val E. Limburg of the WSU Edward R. Murrow School of Communication incorporated service learning into his media ethics class through the CSLC.

“This seemed to offer a chance for some applied soul-searching by my media ethics students, as well as application of hitherto all-too-abstract ethical reasoning,” Limburg said.

He offered extra credit for participating in service learning. While not many students took advantage of the opportunity, Limburg said those who did brought insight into the learning process, and an appreciation for the good students can do.

One such student is Laura Avramovich, a senior in general studies from Gig Harbor. She chose to participate in Women’s Transit.

“Because I’d used the service so often, it only made sense that I would put my service-learning time back into ‘spreading the love,’” Avramovich said.

“In class we learned that service is a good way of exemplifying the values we had been learning about,” she said. “…I’m certain that in life and regardless of my vocation, the value of providing useful service to people is one I will be hard-pressed to forget.”

Annette Williams, program coordinator for the WSU Women’s Resource Center, values service learning in classes.

“We are getting students from every type of class,” Williams said. The students “usually learn that they like community service, and they come back.”

With more classes incorporating service learning, the CSLC hopes to further professors’ teaching efforts and students’ learning experiences through providing more opportunities for students to apply their knowledge while serving the community.

Students and faculty who would like to become involved in the CSLC can contact program director Melanie Brown, 509/335-5401, Compton Union Building, Room 322, The CSLC Web site is