Community on and Off Campus


Higher Education, Service Learning, Community


Community is a concept central to service learning. For the most part, however, service-learning programs tend to embody several assumptions about community that deserve to be more carefully examined One assumption is that community means groups off campus. Another is that community consists primarily or even exclusively of those who have been identified as needing assistance. Such assumptions may be counterproductive. By consciously adopting a more flexible and inclusive understanding of community, programs can not only help participants better appreciate how community can be renewed and sustained but also help them develop more effective habits of civic participation.