Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The present study sought to understand the impact of service-learning courses on students’ attitudes and goals toward education and future civic engagement. The research gathered responses from eight college students who participated in a service-learning course titled “Small Island Sustainability” that took place in the Bahamas. The following three research questions guided the study: 1) How do immersive service-learning courses impact attitudes toward future civic engagement? 2) How do immersive service-learning courses impact goals of future civic engagement? 3) How has a service-learning experience impacted the view of the importance of education? The study utilized a grounded theory design, resulting in a core theory emerging from participant responses: experiential learning impacts the way students view their major and the contributions they can make in the world. By engaging in course content alongside meaningful service, students gain a broader understanding of to contribute to their community. Major themes supported the theory: benefits of experiential learning, cooperative learning, increased engagement of course content, increased community involvement, and changed behaviors. Implications for higher education practice include more service-learning courses that allow students to discover ways to renew their community through their education.
McIlvaine, Jonathan T., "Continued Service: A Qualitative Study on the Impact of Immersive Service-Learning Courses" (2015). Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses. 35.