Three Components of Service Learning

The three components of successful service learning are Preparation, Action and Reflection. These three actions fuse together classroom and hands-on learning in such a way that students often will experience an "aha" moment.

  • Preparation
    Includes setting objectives for the skills to be learned, including planning the projects and preparing to enter the community.
  • Action
    Completing the service work that is required to complete the stated goal.
  • Reflection
    Taking time after the service work is completed to actively think about the experience in terms of personal insights, as well as the relationship between the work completed to the achievement of academic objectives.

History of Service Learning at COD

The term "service learning" wasn't formally adopted at College of DuPage until 1996, although this type of hands-on learning was in full swing two decades earlier. In the late 1970s, College of DuPage students successfully renovated a house in Chicago. Soon after, service-related projects started to become an important learning tool for many of the college's sociology and humanities courses.

It wasn't until 1996, however, that this experiential method of learning was formally identified as "service learning" by the college. To assist faculty members with the process of integrating service learning projects into their course curriculums, the college then formed a Service Learning Committee. In addition, the college applied for and received a "Bridges to Healthy Communities" grant from the American Association of Community Colleges and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This four-year grant and partnership laid the foundation for a strong working relationship with the DuPage County Health Department, which the college continues to foster and maintain today.

In 1998, College of DuPage provided the Service Learning program with a grant from its Major Institutional Initiative fund. This grant has been used to increase service learning opportunities at the college and has also assisted with:

  • The renovation and provision of office space for the program in the Career Services Center.
  • Continued promotion of service learning projects to select faculty groups.
  • Further study of methods for supporting service learning proposals outlined by faculty members.

The Center for Service Learning was established in 2000 with a three-year grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The center was established to introduce the service learning teaching methodology to College of DuPage faculty and to serve as the focal point for providing classroom-based community service opportunities for students. Because of its success, the center became an official part of College of DuPage on Sept. 1, 2003.


Contact Information

Career Services
Student Services Center (SSC) Room 3258
Email: csc@cod.edu
Phone: (630) 942-2230
Fax: (630) 942-4596

Service Request Form

Regular Hours:
Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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