Promoting service-learning through an interdisciplinary and decentralized faculty fellows program


  • Shannon Cummins University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Mitzi Ritzman University of Nebraska Omaha
  • C. Cecilia Tocaimaza-Hatch University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Jodi Benenson University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Andrea M. M. Weare University of Nebraska Omaha


service learning, community-based learning, faculty fellows program (FFP), case study


The adoption of service and community-based learning can be a challenge across campus. Some units or departments might embrace the approach while others believe it can’t be done in their discipline. Despite being shown to offer benefits for learning and retention, recruiting faculty participation in service and community-based learning (SL/CBL) can be challenging. This article describes the origination and first two years’ outcomes of a decentralized faculty fellow program (FFP) across six colleges at a metropolitan university. The first cohort of faculty recruited for the FFP were tasked with serving as a resource for fellow college faculty/staff after collaborating with college administration to determine priorities. This paper utilizes the fellows’ end of year reports organized around priorities and goals, activities planned or undertaken, and the fellow’s personal reflection of the year to conduct a qualitative analysis. Results show the FFP allowed an individualized approach to address goals, determine tactics, and achieve outcomes across college units and offers opportunity for implementation at any university because of its decentralized structure and ability to adjust to the needs of any specific college or unit.



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