Glossary Developed by University of Nebraska at Omaha

With our modified definition of Service-Learning that is used here at Wichita State University.

Applied Research – Unlike basic research, applied research aims to address and answer real-world problems.

Capstones – Also called a capstone experience, senior exhibition, or senior project, among other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically at the end of an academic program. Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. In a community engaged environment, capstones can be directed to the needs of a specific nonprofit, government or business entity or group of entities with the intention of offering a tangible benefit to that organization(s).

Community Based Learning – Delivers a diverse range of learning opportunities in community venues to all sections of society. Community based learning generally takes place outside of institutions and responds to the notion of community priorities and needs.
Community Engagement – Effective, mutually beneficial collaboration of students, faculty, and staff and our community.

Cooperative Education- an academic program that allows students to connect academic knowledge with the business and professional world. Co-op expands learning experiences through paid employment in a supervised, educational work setting related to the student’s major field of study or career focus.

Change Agents – Anything that acts as a catalyst for change. Change agents are embodied by a clear vision, patience and persistence, continuous inquiry; field related or purpose related knowledge, and the creation of trust.

Civic Participation – Involves working with other individuals or groups of people to deal with an issue facing the community (at any level) or school, which increases love and critical thinking about society, and increases patriotism of all levels.

Collective Impact – Individuals that work together to move and improve outcomes, and advocate for what actually works. Collective impact, commonly mixed up with collaboration, strives to improve outcomes consistently overtime, whereas collaboration is historically based on implementing a new program or an idea.

Community Stewardship – A principle that embodies the planning and management of ALL resources (environmental, economic, civic, community, educational etc.). Community stewardship is achieved through specific duties as a member of the community, which ultimately contributes to effective community, societal. Community stewardship collectively recognizes community, engagement, service, and civic participation as integral parts to creating and sustaining a successful community at large.

Critical Reasoning – Supports people to engage in thinking for themselves, which in any area allows individuals to evolve in content based knowledge, societal and ethical consideration, and life skills.

Democratic Ideals – The qualities or standards of government, also applies to university government, which advocates for greater equality, opportunity, public support, human rights, beliefs, and attitudes.

Engagement – An engaged individual is someone who is involved (beyond minimal responsibilities), has an understanding of responsibilities related to the organization’s mission, and an overall feeling of well-being that relates to either directly or indirectly to work satisfaction (i.e. faculty engagement and satisfaction).

Experiential Learning – A learning process of making meaning from direct experience and reflection. Experiential learning is not synonymous to service learning because it is an individual form of learning, rather than a group or community from of learning through experience.

Internships- paid and unpaid positions related to a student's major or career focus. A variety of paid and unpaid internships are available to students wishing to gain experience.

Leadership – A skill that provides any area with guidance, direction, and progressive construction. Individuals, businesses, organizations, schools etc., can all be defined as leaders according to their individual standards.

Practicum – A course of study that is supervised and devoted to practical experience and application within a specialized field, often supervised by a licensed professional. Practica are generally offered for academic credit, with the student, faculty supervisor, and workplace supervisor agreeing on job responsibilities that will yield meaningful experiences for students while providing quality employment at the employer. Students are evaluated with input from the employer and are often required to submit reflections, journals, and/or other documentation that connects the work experience to coursework learned in the classroom.

Scholarship of Engagement – Connecting the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers and to our cities. Scholarship of engagement regards service as scholarship when it requires the use of knowledge that results from one's role as a faculty member.--- Ernest Boyer, The Scholarship of Engagement

Service Learning – Service-Learning at Wichita State University is an experiential learning method that integrates community service with instruction and reflection to increase student civic-mindedness and build community capacity. Wichita State University definition developed by Service-Learning Faculty Fellows and Advisory Board Committee.

Synergy – The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Volunteer or Community Service (non-academic) – A non-curriculum, non-fee based community involvement that provides community or societal assistance, ultimately aiming towards community/societal improvement. Generally, students receive no college credit for these activities although exemplary efforts may be recognized through scholarships, awards, recognition, and other rewards.

What is the difference between Service-Learning and Community Service?

Community service participants volunteer for the primary or sole purpose of meeting the needs of others and bettering the community as a whole. Young people engaged in high quality service-learning meet the needs of their communities while increasing their academic achievement. Service-learning students also take part in structured time to investigate community needs, thoughtful planning of the service project, and guided reflection regarding the relationship between their service experience and their more traditional in-class learning. Overall, the most important feature of effective service-learning programs is that students engage equally with learning and service and reflect on their intersections.

Service-Learning Class vs. Class with a Service-Learning Component:

A Service-Learning Class is one in which all elements of the class; lecture, assignments, extra credit and research are focused around understanding the relationship between academics and a community/civic project. Equal emphasis and grade is awarded for completing the service component and subject content of the course. A class with a service-learning component is one in which there is an opportunity to participate with service-learning during the semester, but may not be required of everyone or the main focus of the class. Grades and course credit reflect this.