Center for Community Learning

Service Learning Courses

In service learning courses, students learn through active participation in thoughtfully organized work within the community that is connected to academic, credit-bearing courses. Research conducted by the School Superintendents Association (AASA) shows that service learning has a direct impact on career exploration and aspirations.

"One study, a meta-analysis of several program evaluations, showed that students who participated in service learning reported gaining more career skills, communication skills and knowledge of more careers than nonparticipants. Another showed that students developed positive work orientation attitudes and skills. Still others show that service learning helped students acquire workplace literacy skills such as punctuality, following directions, ability to work with others and so forth. Many of the studies that link career and service learning show that students acquire specific knowledge about the careers directly related to the service they perform. Career-related outcomes tend to be optimized when there is an intentional connection to workplace skills or career pathways such that students either explicitly acknowledge the connection or communicate about them during reflection."

In addition, students themselves regularly report that service learning enriches their academic experience by providing opportunities to apply what they learn in class and collaborate with community partners to promote social innovation and change. It is no wonder, then, that service learning is on the rise at UCLA.

Service learning courses are offered through a variety of UCLA departments and are open to all students. Some courses include direct service (e.g. tutoring and mentoring) while others emphasize research as service (e.g. community-based research on the environment or public health).

Spring 2017 Courses
  • American Indian Studies C122SL/C222SL. Working in Tribal Communities: Service Learning. (4)
  • Arts Education M192SL. Arts Education Undergraduate Practicum and Capstone Project. (4)
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies M170SL. Latinos, Linguistics, and Literacy. (5)
  • Civic Engagement 50SL. Engaging Los Angeles. (5) -- DIVERSITY + SOCIETY & CULTURE GE!
  • Civic Engagement 100SL. Perspectives on Civic Engagement. (4)
  • Civic Engagement M110SL. Community-Based Studies of Popular Literature. (5) – DIVERSITY!
  • Civic Engagement 175SL. Addressing Social Determinants in Racial/Ethnic Minority Communities to Reduce and Prevent Health Disparities. (4)
  • Comparative Literature 180SL. Medical Humanities in Comparative Contexts and Community-Based Learning: Music, Medicine, Culture. (4)
  • Education M190SL. Arts Education Undergraduate Practicum and Capstone Project. (4)
  • English 4WS. Critical Reading and Writing (Service Learning). (5) -- WRITING 2!
  • English M115SL. Community-Based Studies of Popular Literature. (5) – DIVERSITY!
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies 180SL. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Institutions and Organizations. (4)
  • Mathematics 71SL. Classroom Practices in Elementary School Mathematics. (2)
  • Mathematics 72SL. Classroom Practices in Middle School Mathematics. (2)
  • Psychology M176SL. Addressing Social Determinants in Racial/Ethnic Minority Communities to Reduce and Prevent Health Disparities. (4)
  • Science Education 1SL. Classroom Practices in Elementary School Science. (2)
  • Science Education 10SL. Classroom Practices in Middle School Science. (2)
  • Spanish M172SL. Latinos, Linguistics, and Literacy. (5)
  • Statistics 141SL. Practice of Statistical Consulting. (4)
  • Statistics 291SL. Service Learning for Graduate Statistical Consulting.

Highlights from Civic Engagement 133SL: Food Studies & Food Justice

Kindred Spirits Care Farm from UC GFI video project on Vimeo.

“Food is a hot topic right now,” said Kathy O’Byrne, who teaches “Food Studies and Food Justice” and directs UCLA’s Center for Community Learning. “Whether it’s research, policy, waste, marketing, logistics or event planning, or looking at the relationship between government regulation and government assistance around food programs, or the level of hunger, poverty and homeless people in L.A. — these things are interconnected on every level.”

Service Learning in the Community

Many of the community partners for service learning courses have been working with UCLA for more than 10 years, and we have also welcomed new organizations to increase the diversity of the experience. Students work for non-profit agencies throughout Los Angeles County, including East and South LA and the San Fernando Valley.

Community partners are pre-screened and chosen in advance by faculty members, often with consultation from the Center for Community Learning. Students typically work at least 20 hours per quarter, and the meaningful work taking place off campus is connected to graded assignments and oral or written reflection opportunities during class.

Click on the map below to explore how UCLA undergraduates are engaging Los Angeles through the Center for Community Learning’s service learning courses.

This interactive “storymap” was developed by Center Assistant Director Beth Goodhue in collaboration with the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities.