Academic Affairs

Dean X. Parmelee, M.D., Associate Dean

Service Learning

Medical Students doing service learning at the Dayton Community Blood Center

What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is defined as a structured learning experience that combines community service with academic preparation and reflection. Students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens and professionals.*

*Definition from Seifer SD. "Service-learning: Community-campus partnerships for health professions education." Academic Medicine, 73(3):273-277 (1998).

Service Learning is a teaching pedagogy/philosophy aimed at instilling a sense of civic responsibility.
Service Learning (SL) is distinguished by three things:
  • SL is curricular based, that is students get academic credit for participating in community based experiences;
  • SL places equal value on the service objectives defined by the community as it does on the learning objectives defined by the academy; and
  • The planning, preparation and implementation of the SL curriculum is done in a partnership that includes the academic faculty, the site based community staff, and the student.

Service learning assists students' development as medical professionals through experiential learning that stimulates critical thinking, problem analysis and cultural understanding. Student participation in service learning enhances competencies in community-based care and fosters a commitment to future civic involvement.

Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is, by design, engaged in community-based, multiprofessional clinical education. The Service Learning requirement, introduced in 2008 for first and second biennium students, is primarily an enhancement of the existing curriculum.

Students can complete service learning hours through faculty directed or student initiated electives, either domestically or abroad.

View the Service Learning Orientation

The following links provide information about Biennium I Service Learning elective requirements and forms:

Students Learning using SIMMAN

Student SL Required Forms:

Forms required for service learning student initiated electives (SL SIEs) and information about SL SIEs and faculty directed service learning electives can be found on the MedU/Electives web page.