Service-Learning and Community Engagement
The Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement (OSLCE) is a forum that cultivates strong reciprocal relationships between USC Upstate faculty, students and community organizations. For faculty, the OSLCE builds individualized connections to viable community partners for service-learning course placements and offers learning opportunities in course development and implementation. For community partners, the OSLCE recruits and prepares students to participate in meaningful service-oriented activities. For students, the OSLCE provides information about service-learning courses and creates opportunities to engage the community through service-based organizations such as IMPACT and Alternative Break.
Service-learning at USC Upstate is defined as a method of teaching and learning that integrates student participation in organized service activities into credit-bearing courses. By collaboratively addressing identified community needs with a community partner, the service experience enhances student learning by providing an opportunity to observe, test and apply discipline-based theories, concepts and skills. The academic context enriches the service experience by raising questions about real world issues and by providing a forum to reflect upon them. Further, service-learning is a mechanism to achieve a broader appreciation of the discipline, to sharpen problem solving skills and to develop an enhanced sense of civic responsibility (Approved by Faculty Senate, 02/20/2015).
Community Engagement is described as the collaborative relationship between institutions of higher education and their broader communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources, in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
The University's metropolitan mission rests upon a foundation of partnerships with the education, corporate, and service organizations of the Upstate, through which our students gain extensive experiential learning opportunities.
Opportunities to learn and serve together reflect the University's aim to prepare its students to participate as responsible citizens in a diverse, global and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life.
The University recognizes that promoting civic engagement by its faculty, staff, and students strengthens the fabric of the community we serve, while enriching faculty scholarship and the student learning experience beyond the classroom. We welcome you to explore service-learning and community engagement at USC Upstate.