The mission of the UAB Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research is to connect UAB students, faculty, and community nonprofit partners together to enrich student academic learning, promote civic engagement, and to strengthen and support our local and global communities.
Since 2007, UAB’s Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research has focused on promoting service learning courses and other opportunities that integrate academic learning and civic engagement for the benefit of both students and community. The Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research is a bridge between the instructional and service missions of the University, enabling students and faculty to apply classroom knowledge and research with community partners to address community issues. The Office of Service Learning also supports and models the UAB Values of collaboration and community involvement.
UAB is a Carnegie Community Engaged institution because of its commitment to curricular engagement through service learning and support for collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources. Since 2008, UAB has been a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to our communities. The Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
Through a strategic plan developed in 2014, the Office of Service Learning works through five primary goals.
- Support and Build Faculty Capacity – provide greater support for faculty creating service-learning enhanced courses
- Enhance Service Learning Visibility – improve and develop better web-based systems of advertising, promoting, tracking, submitting, and searching SL courses
- Assess Service-Learning Outcomes – develop an assessment process for service-learning courses
- Enhance Student Learning – create new academic pathways and incentives for students to develop their community engagement interests
- Encourage and Support Community Partnerships – support sustainable community-university partnerships that address needs as defined by the community, capitalize on student interest, and support UAB’s mission.
UAB Service Learning and Undergraduate Research helps faculty integrate hands-on service with classroom curriculum while serving as a liaison for faculty, students, and community partners. With a focus on quality experience for all parties involved, UAB Service Learning addresses concerns about academic rigor, time constraints, and liability to ensure opportunities are fully utilized.