Service Learning
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Urban Garden Franciscan Day of Service

Service-Learning & Civic Engagement

The mission of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement is to collaborate with the campus community and external stakeholders in an effort to increase the quality of student learning, engagement, and civic roles as realized within intentional and mutually beneficial community service-learning experiences that uphold the University’s mission and Franciscan values.

 Service-Learning Designation and Transcription

Office of Service Learning at Madonna UniversityMadonna University is committed to integrating pedagogies of engagement inside and outside the classroom. One form of curricular engagement is academic service-learning which integrates community service with course content. Students enrolled in service-learning designated courses have the opportunity to apply their talents, knowledge, and skills to address local community needs and pressing social issues in partnership with local and global non-profit organizations. Academic service-learning also fulfills the University’s mission by instilling in students Christian humanistic values, intellectual inquiry, a respect for diversity, and a commitment to serving others.

Service-learning designated courses:

  • Integrate service with course content; the service component supports the academic focus of the course.
  • Engage students in relevant service that is of equal benefit to the learning and community partner(s).
  • Thread structured reflection that is continuous, challenging, connected, and contextualized.
  • Address aspects of civic responsibility and lifelong engagement.
  • Include a minimum of 15 service-learning hours. (i.e., direct service, reflection, assignments related to service-learning experience)
  • Are transcribed on the official academic transcript with an SL appearing to the right of the course title.

Service-learning courses are offered across the curriculum and include service projects that address issues including but not limited to: access and success in higher education, animal welfare, capacity building in non-profit organizations, caregiving, community health, environmental/sustainability, hunger, housing/homelessness, literacy, nutrition/wellness, poverty, and senior/elder services.

 Service Leadership

College Positive Volunteerism (CPV)
Join Michigan’s college-going movement and become a College Positive Volunteer! CPV’s help youth and families plan for college and KnowHow2Go! Our CPV’s are academically diverse with interests in many areas including broadcast and cinema arts, criminal justice, dietetics, education, nursing, and social work. Trainings are usually in the fall semester; however, they can also be provided upon request. All participants who complete the training receive a CPV certificate. For more information visit: Access & Success Digital Toolkit

Ford MU Community Corps
Since Winter 2013, Madonna University has offered this unique service-leadership experience supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund. Corps serve in small teams comprised of students with similar academic interests. They address local community needs and are often involved in starting, developing, and expanding service projects in collaboration with a faculty mentor and non-profit organization professionals. They have opportunities to grow as leaders, interact in diverse communities, and expand their support networks. For more information visit: Ford Blue Oval Scholars.

 Enriching Educational Opportunities

Days of Service
There are many opportunities for students to engage in community service throughout their education at Madonna University; some of which are initiated by student organizations.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration of Service and Remembrance: During the third week in January, Days of Service are offered to students in conjunction with the university-sponsored MLK celebration. Information about Martin Luther King, Jr. service projects are released in mid-November.

Franciscan Day of Service: The first Saturday during Mission and Heritage Week (Oct. 2-10), when we celebrate our Franciscan heritage and values through service. Students, faculty, staff and alumni come together to serve our local communities by working on projects such as fall clean-up, cleaning furniture, planting bulbs, sorting clothes, organizing food pantries, winterizing vegetable beds, etc. Our community partners include organizations serving diverse populations; e.g., St. Peter’s Episcopal Church/Social Justice Beehive, Piquette Square, Zaman International, and St. Anne’s Catholic Church. This is a day of transformation for us and our community partners. 

Poem for A Day of Service
Written by: the 2016 Franciscan Day of Service participants

Service is... amazing thing.
...helping others in need.
...a helpful way to reach out.
...helping others to make things better.
...commitment, caring, and learning about yourself and others.

...a way to connect with the community. we can make a difference in the world. yourself to something bigger than you.
...helping people with a gentle heart and kind mind.
...happiness, giving love, sharing God's compassion.
...helping others and making their life better.

International Service-Learning
Global opportunities to serve are available through academic service-learning designated courses that include a study-abroad component. In the past, students have applied their academic knowledge and skills to help address global pressing issues in countries such as China, Costa Rica, and France. For more information visit Study Abroad.

 Faculty Support

Passionate about student learning and the Metro-Detroit area? Faculty members interested in teaching service-learning designated courses are encouraged to contact the Office of Service-Learning directly for more information on how to integrate service-learning into their courses.

Services designed for faculty

  • Service-learning project logistical support
  • Assistance with designing pre-service orientations
  • Administration of pre/post service surveys
  • Community engagement, data collection, monitoring, and reporting
  • Professional development resources and networks
 Service-Learning News
 Community Partners

Service-Learning & Civic Engagement enjoys long-standing relationships with several non-profit organizations primarily serving the southwest Michigan region. The office also works to identify new partners who are interested and willing to develop mutually beneficial service-learning experiences with Madonna University students, faculty, and staff.

Services designed to support community partners include but are not limited to:

  • Site visits
  • Needs assessment
  • Designing pre-service orientations
  • Faculty referrals to explore academic service-learning project options
  • Dissemination of information about internships, community service projects, and volunteer opportunities to appropriate offices on campus
 Contact Us

Djennin Casab, Director of Service-Learning

Office: 1400H