Ann Rautio

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Service-learning takes students beyond the traditional classroom by integrating service to the community into the academic curriculum. In forming new connections to their communities, students experience an increase in academic achievement, career orientation, social development and civic response. They acquire a sense of efficacy, learn 21st century skills such as teamwork and problem solving, and engage in the broader world of their community and the society of their future. In 2000, the Education Commission of the States (ECS) conducted the first 50-state (and the District of Columbia) policy scan on service-learning, seeking to determine the status of institutionalization of service-learning in the states.

The 2000 scan only included review of state statutes, codes or regulations, and state board of education policies. It focused solely on the term service-learning, excluding terms like community service, which can be more broadly defined and often is tied to restitution and the justice system. The results were displayed simply, in a table showing each state and any relevant policies.