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Career-Based Service Learning


Career-Based Service Learning combines traditional community service with a structured school- and work-based opportunity to explore a career field, emphasizing the connections between the service experiences, preparation for careers (career readiness skill development) and academic learning.  Students benefit by acquiring career-related skills and knowledge while learning civic responsibility and gaining personal satisfaction. Service learning can be embedded in short-term projects and can be individual, team or classroom oriented.  


  • Students apply content knowledge they have learned in school, critical thinking and good judgment to address genuine community needs
  • Engages students in experiential, hands-on projects in the community while deepening their understanding of an area of career interest
  • Informs the students career and postsecondary education planning
  • Develops skills, habits and attitudes vital to career success
  • Helps students understand the needs of their local business and non-profit organizations and agencies
  • Provides the context in which students can gain organizational, team, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, along with attitudes and capabilities necessary to succeed in work and life
Teacher Checklist for Service Learning Development

Teacher Checklist for Service Learning Development

Service Learning Project Planning Worksheet

Service Learning Project Planning Worksheet

Success Factors

  • Allow students to design and select the career-based service learning activity
  • Provide classroom preparation for the career-based service learning
  • Have students conduct preparatory research and report on the community/business/non-profit organization need
  • Students complete a planned series of activities and apply their skills and knowledge to help meet a need in the school or greater community
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and contribution to the business, non-profit organization or agency.