Service-learning is defined as a “course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle and Hatcher, 1995).
Service-learning promotes our mission of service, the ideals of a Franciscan education, student formation and success. “A Franciscan Education seeks to form persons and build a better world. It emphasizes relationship building, and community through a culture of social responsibility” (Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities).
The Carnegie Foundation has announced that Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is one of the 119 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates an institutional commitment to community engagement. The university has been recognized as a Community Engagement Campus by the Carnegie Foundation since 2010.
FranU students work collaboratively with community partners in service-learning courses to address social problems and issues in the community, such as food insecurity, homelessness, social isolation, mental illness prevention and mobility issues in the elderly, domestic violence, access to healthcare for medically underserved communities including people with disabilities and educational enrichment for youth in economically depressed areas with limited resources. During the 2022-2023 academic year, students served 25,135.95 hours in 16 parishes across the state of Louisiana.
Faculty offered 258 undergraduate and graduate level service-learning courses (47 course sections) in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Health Professions and Nursing during the 20202–20213 academic year. FranU faculty collaborate with community partners as co-educators to develop service-learning pedagogy. In addition, faculty share their experiences through service-learning presentations and scholarship.
Our community partners are important co-educators working collaboratively with faculty, students and the Office of Service-Learning to serve those most in need in the community. In addition, our community partners are essential for developing student servant leaders with an enhanced awareness of their civic responsibility to advocate for the marginalized in the community.
Have questions about FranU service-learning opportunities or want to know more about us? Contact the Office of Service-Learning; we’re happy to help make your time at FranU impactful!