The Purdue Service-Learning Office in the Office of Engagement supports faculty, staff, students, and community organizations in service-learning partnerships.

Service-learning combines community engagement with course-based learning. Faculty and staff can join a growing pedagogical movement to help students apply new skills by collaborating with community organizations to make a local (or global) impact.

Meet the Service-Learning Director

Welcome to Purdue University’s Service-Learning website! It is our vision that Purdue University has a thriving, sustainable network of engaged students, faculty, staff, and community partners collaboratively addressing today’s societal challenges and enriching the student experience through service-learning partnerships. These partnerships are based on the following principles of reciprocity with the explicit understanding of mutual benefit between and among all parties:

  • Clearly defined and understood mutual goals
  • A jointly developed structure and shared responsibility
  • Mutual authority and accountability for success
  • Sharing of responsibility and of rewards
  • Collaborative process enabling participants to combine their knowledge, skills, and resources to accomplish more together than they could on their own

At Purdue, service-learning is defined as a subset of service engagement, and is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students:

  1. Participate in an organized service activity that meets community-identified needs;
  2. Use knowledge and skills directly related to a course or discipline; and
  3. Reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility.

In the Office of Engagement, we work to support these partnerships by conceptualizing, innovating, implementing, and evaluating service-learning initiatives for students, faculty, staff, and community partners. Additionally, the Service-Learning Fellows Program matches community partners with faculty and graduate students to fund service-learning projects through a structured mentoring program. Lastly, our office participates in and coordinates service-learning based scholarship efforts.

We welcome you to read through the stories and resources on our website to see what we’ve done and how we can support your partnerships in service-learning. Come engage with us!

- Dr. Lindsey Payne, Director of Service-Learning at Purdue University

Dr. Payne has a B.A in Biological Sciences from DePauw University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Ecological Sciences and Engineering from Purdue University. She has also worked professionally in the non-profit and secondary education sectors, and currently serves on multiple community-based environmental boards.  She also specializes in the assessment of instructional effectiveness and student learning in active learning environments. She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards, and is the Chair of the Teaching Academy.