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Advocacy Toolkit

What is Service Learning?


The UCA Service-Learning Program supports partnerships between students, faculty, and community partners to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service-learning and volunteerism are part of UCA’s Division of Outreach and Community Engagement

Service-learning can engage students in a variety of types of service experiences, including direct service, indirect service, research-based service, and advocacy. 
Advocacy service-learning educates others about topics of public interest, and engages students in projects that aim to create awareness and action on some issue that impacts the community. Examples include:

  • Students from a Public Administration class hosting a public forum on homelessness in Conway
  • Students in a Gender Studies class organizing an event to raise awareness about domestic violence
  • Students in a Creative Writing class developing rhetorical strategies through climate strike activities
  • Students in a First-Year Seminar class organizing zinemaking workshops to amplify community voices
  • Students in a Political Science class drafting briefs in partnership with an elected official to advocate for policy change


A growing body of academic research is devoted to community engagement in higher education, including on the impacts of various types and models of service-learning on students, faculty, and communities. Research that includes community partners in the design, implementation, and sharing of results is called community-based research, and such research is often used to drive advocacy or social action based on findings