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Service-Learning Courses

Liberating Education

Join us for a critical discussion of the role of the education system in our society, and how it can both liberate and oppress, as well as our roles as individuals in self-liberation and possibly liberating education itself.  Through course readings, dialogue and reflection activities we will explore the history of American education through a social justice lens, examining our deeply held beliefs about the importance of public education, in contrast with the purposes our system seems to be serving in contemporary society. How does each of us claim a role in the future of public education? See our FAQ sheet for more information.


The Service-Learning Program is proud to offer four two-credit courses, each with a service component (the Practicum is available for variable credit, depending on how many hours of work you do). This is a great opportunity to pair academic work with learning outside the classroom.

Early Childhood Services

A knowledgeable and skilled work force in Early Childhood Education is critical to the development of productive citizens in our society. In addition to positive outcomes for children and families receiving direct services, economic impact studies by the Federal Reserve and others show that early care and education bring social and economic benefits to the community.  This two hour, weekly class is offered along with variable credit service component that will foster the application of best practices in the field of Early Childhood Education.  Students will learn through a variety of teaching tactics and reflective activities the importance of early childhood experiences on the social and emotional, literacy/language, math and science skill development of young children. Students will learn a variety of ways to provide parent education to promote optimal engagement and growth. The course will explore the field of Early Childhood Education from philosophy and theory to practical application.  Family systems theory, roles and functions of special service colleagues and community resources will be discussed.

The Schoolhouse Garden
The Schoolhouse Garden is a collaboration between the Service-Learning Program and Edison Elementary School teachers, families, and students.  UO students from all majors and backgrounds are invited to help build this project from the ground up.  The garden will provide a place for experiential learning for college students as well as K-5 students.  Our goal:  bring folks around the community together in a shared space that not only teaches, but also feeds our neighbors in need.

Global Citizenship
Someone who knows and has reflected on their own identity – including their own privilege, oppression, beliefs, biases, etc – is able to empathize with and learn from others.  Someone who is aware of how his or her actions affect global systems and understands the systemic injustices at play in maintaining the status quo – is able to navigate the complexities of being a citizen that is aware and engaged in our changing world.  In this course, students will have the opportunity to increase multicultural awareness and competencies, and build skills in a reflective, discussion-focused format.

Service-Learning & Social Justice
This seminar focuses on what “service” means in contemporary society and explores the role of each person as both individual and “citizen” in the context of a "server - served" relationship.   This course also examines best practice in service-learning work, including examining issues of reciprocity, cultural competence, and links to academic learning.

Human Services
The goal of a human services practitioner is to empower people to live more satisfying, more autonomous, and more productive lives, and to cope with crisis, change and stress in ways that maximize human potential.  Human service providers are advocates, counselors, mentors, outreach workers, consultants, case managers and community planners.  In this course students will examine many facets of human service work, gain some experience in the field, and reflect on the ways the work and its academic context affect each other.
K-12 Education
When working in a K-12 setting it is important to be aware of the context in which we are working, including social, cultural and political factors.  Students in this course will be encouraged to translate knowledge learned in this and other courses into effective community work within elementary and secondary schools.

We also offer Outdoor School experiences for students who are interested in volunteering with youth in outdoor immersion setting, whether week-long excursions in the woods, or visiting local schools and worksites.

Students can also design their own service-learning projects, in consultation with Service-Learning Program staff, for Independent Study credit.

New courses are being developed, and new opportunities come our way all the time. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on all the goings-on!