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Community Learning - An Instructional Strategy

Community learning, also often referred to as service learning and civic learning, provides students with the opportunity to experience and apply what they are studying in class through service in the community. It enables students to reflect on their service experiences and analyze community issues. 

Community learning exemplifies SJSU's mission to transmit knowledge to its students along with necessary skills for applying it in the service of our society and is an important part of curriculum.

Community learning:

  • contextualizes course content within the real world;
  • develops social awareness and social responsibility;
  • provides leadership opportunities;
  • advances personal and professional skills; and
  • promotes career exploration.

Community learning differs from volunteering and community service. Community learners focus not only on the service they provides, but also on the academic and personal learning they gain as a result of that service experience.

Community Partners for Classes

All partners with whom students are places for course based service must have a University Organization Agreement (UOA) on file with the University.

Click here for a list of community partners who have current UOAs. 

Consult the Course Catalog or your academic department to enroll in a service learning course. Once enrolled you will be required to submit:

  • Release of Liability
  • Learning Plan and Participation Guidelines


In April 1999, Governor Gray Davis called for a community service requirement for all students enrolled in California's public institutions of higher education. The CSU endorsed Governor Davis's interest in strengthening an ethic of service as an important part of undergraduate education. Community service, service learning, and community-based activity are longstanding traditions in the mission and purpose of the CSU. Learn more about California's Call to Service.