Stephen F. Austin State University

Service Learning at SFA

Welcome to Service Learning

Service Learning at SFA is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, Office of Student Affairs Programs and the Teaching Excellence Center. It is based on the principle that student learning is deeply enhanced by participation in high-impact programs that promote the student's active involvement and investment in their own learning. It is further guided by the belief that these kinds of learning experiences are often the product of dynamic collaboration between academic, student affairs and community partners. While we hope that this guide will assist faculty and students in creating these kinds of learning opportunities; it represents only the beginnings of what we believe will be a truly interdisciplinary, broach and wholly integrated approach to active learning and civic engagement. This is only the beginning. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of countless faculty, staff and community partners who have contributed to our understanding of this topic at Stephen F. Austin State University and look forward to the continued refinement of this program over time.

Service Learning Grants

At SFA, we hope to encourage all faculty and students to value and participate in service learning activities which enhance the community environment, further the student's understanding of the world and hopefully connect to the student's academic program. In order to support this university perspective the Office of Student Affairs Programs has created a grant program for faculty and staff to access funding for worthy service learning projects. Faculty and staff can apply for a limited number of $500 grants in order to implement a service learning project in their classroom that directly connects to the academic curriculum and experience. Service learning grants can help to pay for expenses related to project development and delivery, such as travel, supplies, printing and resource materials.


Interested faculty and staff must submit an application online by the listed deadline. If the application is submitted early, the Student Affairs Programs staff can often provide feedback and advice for suggested revisions.

Please note that we have changed the submission process this semester. Rather than submitting a Word document or PDF, faculty should fill out our online form to submit a proposal.

We encourage faculty and staff to check back on this website each semester for the most up-to-date application, as modifications are often made to the application based on feedback from grant recipients. The proposed project needs to be implemented during the following semester and should adhere closely to our definition of a service learning project. Grant recipients must work with the Office of Student Affairs Programs for funds allocation and should not spend money without consulting our administrative assistant first. Funds that go unused are returned to the Office of Student Affairs Programs account. Recipients are required to fill out a final report assessment through Campus Labs at the conclusion of the project. Grant recipients may be asked to present the results of their project at a later date.

For more information, contact Student Engagement Programs - Leadership and Service, at

What is Service Learning

"Service-learning is a particularly fertile way of involving young people in community service, because it ties helping others to what they are learning in the classroom. It enables them to apply academic disciplines to practical, everyday problems. In the process, it provides a compelling answer to the adolescent's perennial question, 'Why do I need to learn this stuff?'" - Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State

Service learning provides students with opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to "real world" issues in the community. It can be structured in many ways, but most often takes the form of a collaborative, closed-ended project in which individuals, groups or entire classes have the opportunity to demonstrate and relate what they are learning in a way that helps others. Well-designed service-learning projects ensure a balance between student learning and the needs addressed by service sites, to make sure that both are considered in any projects they create.

Service learning, by definition has three primary components:

By participating in service learning, students should:

The 2010-2011 Service Learning Guide is available here.

Service Learning Partners

The Office of Student Engagement - Leadership and Service has built relationships with many local community agencies that utilize student volunteers. There is a great need in the Nacogdoches community for volunteers and SFA students help fill most of this need!

All of these agencies have service opportunities available for SFA students and potential opportunities for service learning project partnerships.

Visit our Service Partners page for more details.

Students With Disabilities

The Office of Student Affairs is committed to providing support for students with disabilities. If you are a student who needs an accommodation to attend or participate in one of our events or student organizations you are encouraged to stop by room 325 in the Human Services Building to make your request. You may also call us at (936) 468-6401, TDD: (936) 468-1004.

If you have an accommodation request please see us as soon as possible, so we can make any arrangements necessary. No accommodations can be provided until a request has been made through the Office of Disability Services. To the greatest extent possible, the Office of Student Affairs, shall observe confidentiality with respect to any request for accommodation.

Students who feel they have not been accommodated appropriately can appeal that decision utilizing the university appeals process. That process can be found at: