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SOURCE Supports Service-Learning Courses to Deepen Student Learning

March 07, 2013 | 2 Minute Read

The following is a guest post from Elizabeth Doerr, Associate Director of SOURCE

When SPH students expressed a desire to increase their involvement in the community while integrating the experiences into their course work, SOURCE (Student Outreach Resource Center) created the SOURCE Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program (FFP) to respond to that need. SOURCE is the community service and service-learning center for the JHU Shools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. WIth SOURCE's network of over 100 partnering Baltimore city non-profits and their expertise in curriculum development, SOURCE has created a means to support faculty on integrating inovative teaching methods into health professional education through service-learning pedagogy.

Service-learning is a pedagogy that engages students in experiential learning so that they can tangibly connect their academic learning to their career and real-world environments through community service. Service-learning goes beyond just providing service and instead encourages student learning. Through service-learning course evaluations, research has demonstrated that service-learning increases students' application of learning to the real world, a deeper understanding of course material, critical thinking, and problem analysis (Eyler et al., 2001). In order to prepare faculty to apply this new pedagogy, the FFP trains and supports faculty in integrating service-learning into their courses by providing formal training, one-one-one consultation, and established relationships with over 100 diverse community organizations.

The 2012-13 Faculty Fellows collectively integrated service-learning into nine courses. Additionally, they have gained a great deal by working alongside like-minded faculty. Two SOURCE Faculty Fellows explain the benefits of the program to their teaching:

"In only a few months, I have made connections for potential proposals/collaborations, student referrals, shared resources, lecture exchanges, and invaluable networking." - Daniela Lewy, MPH, Research Associate, Health Systems Program, Department of International Health

"Because of my experience as [a Faculty Fellow], I was able to create a service-learning course that [has] allowed me to work closer with my students and with my partnering CBOs to create a productive and enriching learning experience for everyone." - Vanya Jones, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Center for Injury Reserach and Policy

Applications for the 2013-14 FFP Cohrot are due Friday, March 15th. To learn more about this pedagogy, FFP, and SOURCE, please visit http://jhsph.edu/SOURCE/FFP or contact SOURCE Associate Director, Elizabeth DOERR at edoerr@jhsph.edu or 410-955-3880.


Eyler, JS, Giles, DE, Stenson, GM, & Gray, CJ (2001). At a Glance: What we know about the effects of service-learning on college students, faculty, institiutions, and communities, 1993-2000 (3rd Ed). Funded by the Corp for National Service, Learn and Serve American National SL Clearninghouse.