What is Community Learning?

Volunteers teach children dental skills at a health fair

A volunteer reads with three young children

Community learning is a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content. High quality community learning blends academic learning, practical experience, personal exploration and reflection on student roles and involvement in their communities.

Students in many disciplines explore community issues that relate to their courses, find relevance in their academic learning, gain valuable skills, and experience a deepened sense of civic responsibility, social justice, and commitment to the community.

Community learning differs from volunteering and community service. Community learners focus not only on the service they provide, but also on the academic and personal learning they gain as a result of that service experience. Community partners work closely with SJSU staff, professors and students to design the service and learning experience.