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Journal for Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

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Community-based learning, Service learning


Service-learning practitioners design community engagement activities to affect students in powerful and even transformative ways. This qualitative study explores the long-term impacts (3-16 years after graduation) of participation in a senior-level service-learning course. Through interviews with 20 randomly selected participants, the researchers explored whether and in what ways graduates continued to experience impacts from the course, including those that have become interwoven with other life experiences or have catalyzed altered perspectives and/or actions. Graduates were first asked to identify their most significant learning experiences in college in order to gauge the relative importance, if any, of the service-learning course in their college education. Then graduates were asked to recall their experiences in the course and to share what impacts those experiences had at the time and in the intervening years. Findings are discussed through the lens of transformational learning processes and outcomes.


This is an open access article.

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