Faculty Benefits

For faculty members, teaching a service-learning course offers a multitude of benefits. Service-learning enhances teaching effectiveness, advances scholarship and academic contributions, and provides service to the university and surrounding community.


Service-learning is also one of many activities used in the tenure and promotion process. “Tenure and Promotion Guidelines” of the Southeastern Faculty Handbook states, “Evaluation of Teaching may also be based on supervision of service-learning,” (p.4).


The following provides different ways in which service-learning can fit into the tenure and promotion process.


Teaching/Job Effectiveness

  • Develop powerful curricula that provide students with a “real world” context for theory and discipline-specific knowledge.

  • Raise student awareness about current social issues as they relate to academic areas of interest.

  • Engage students in interactive classroom discussions that draw upon course material and invite new perspectives and personal experiences.

  • Develop students' critical thinking, writing and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Help students learn about the complexities of social injustices and systematic problems.


Professional Activity

  • Identify new areas for investigation and publication which can increase opportunities for professional recognition and reward.

  • Structure activities to address larger questions related to instructional effectiveness and/or appropriate outreach models for specific populations.

  • Measure the effectiveness of service-learning and discuss the results in the context of broader subject matter.

  • Present professional papers at state, regional and national conferences.

  • Publish findings in higher education publications or in applied academic journals, particularly those that report teaching innovations.

  • Submit grants for external funding related to service-learning activities.



  • Actively participate in the direct service and/or research projects that your students are doing.

  • Offer your professional skills and expertise to the nonprofit agencies where your students are serving.

  • Serve on the board of directors for the nonprofit agency with which you have partnered.

  • Mentor other faculty members on integrating service-learning into their courses.

  • Make presentations to the faculty senate or academic departments about the impact of service-learning.

Source: Kernodle Center for Service-Learning, Elon University


If you have any questions about how you can incorporate your service-learning activities into your Professional Portfolio, please contact the Center for Faculty Excellence.