Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities (National Service-Learning Clearninghouse).
By helping students engage in community projects with people whose lives are directly effected by those projects, service-learning helps students understand course-related topics from other people's points of view. A student majoring in education, for example, can develop a deeper understanding of the effects of poverty on a child's learning; as a result, that student can more fully appreciate the role of the teacher in addressing conditions that perpetuate poverty in that school district.
In this way, service-learning is consistent with SUNY Cortland's Mission Statement:
SUNY Cortland is an academic community dedicated to diverse learning experiences. Students grow as engaged citizens with a strong social conscience fostered by outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service.