The Center for Civic Engagement


Service-Learning Brochure

Students who take two or more service-learning classes will earn a service-learning notation on their transcript when they graduate. With over 70 service-learning courses throughout the college, students in all degree programs have this opportunity available to them. Service-learning shows that a student has experience problem solving, thinking critically, and has experience working on real world problems.

To sign up for one of our many service-learning classes, contact your advisor, ask your program chair, or look for service-learning classes when you register for classes in Campus Connect.

What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning means a method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service that:

    * is conducted in and meets the needs of a community

    * is coordinated with an institution of higher education, and with a community partner

    * helps foster civic responsibility

    * is integrated into and enhances the academic coursework of the students enrolled

    * includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience.

(Adapted for Ivy Tech Community College from the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE): Series on Service-Learning in the Disciplines and the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993).


Definition of service-learning with a longer explanation:

Examples of Service-Learning at Ivy Tech-Bloomington:

Accounting 201

Accounting 201 students presented financial literacy information to the residents and staff of Stepping Stones, a non-profit that offers transitional housing and supportive services to youth between the ages of 16-20 experiencing homelessness. Topics included credit cards, credit scores, building credit, and debt.

Amanda Dawney, ACCT 101 student, found the information practical and informative. “Everyone will encounter a situation in their future where this type of financial know-how will be helpful,” she said.

I wish I had known these things when I was younger,” student Ben Kistner noted. “It would have saved me a lot of trouble.”

The ACCT 101 service learning class is taught by Steve Englert, Assistant Professor of Accounting.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Stepping Stones.  “The teens at Stepping Stones are overcoming many challenges in their lives. This financial information can be critical to their future success,” he says.

Sculpture I and II

ARTS 211 Sculpture I and ARTS 212 Sculpture II received a brain to decorate from Jill Bolte Taylor BRAIN, Inc, a non-profit that supports brain awareness, appreciation, exploration, education, injury prevention, neurological recovery, and the value of movement on mental and physical health. 

In total, 22 brains measuring 5 feet long, 5 feet high, and 4 feet wide were distributed across Bloomington to artists based on their proposals. This community-wide project promoted awareness of brain health.

The sculpture classes designed their brain based on the different areas of the brain and their functions. They created the base of the musical notes, mazes, planets, math, and landscape with foam, paper machete, pie plates, caps, foam core, and twelve tubes of painters caulk.

It has a life of its own. It really lives and breathes,” says student Marsha Plush an associate of fine arts student and the painter of the musical part of the brain.

All 22 brains were displayed around Bloomington for several months before going up for auction. The Ivy Tech brain was displayed at Centerstone, a community mental health agency.

CHEM 105/106 and BIOT100/1016

Students from four science classes organized and worked the first annual Super Science Saturday with the aid of five science faculty members.  The two hour event allows children in grades K-12 a chance to perform hands-on science experiments at over 25 separate booths. Students helped kids make ice cream, lava lamps in plastic bottles, build candy DNA, and dissect owl pellets.  The event attracted over 350 children and their parents, greatly exceeding expectations. One Biotechnology student wrote: “While I was participating in the science fair, I realized that I love sharing my love of science with children.  It is absolutely amazing to see them absorb new information like a sponge.  This led me to my new major which is education.  I hope to teach science at the elementary school level where I can get kids excited about learning.”