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This exploratory study examines how service-learning faculty and community partners affiliated with rural colleges and universities engage in a practice aligned with Stoecker’s (2016) proposed liberating service-learning framework. Findings from 10 in-depth interviews indicate the ongoing emphasis on student learning, increased interface with government leaders, local businesses, and advocacy organizations, and distinct contextual factors faced by service-learning partners in rural areas. These findings complicate Stoecker’s initial framework, which completely decenters student learning, and calls for a deeper understanding of who constitutes community, change, and power broadly and in the context of densely connected rural areas. It also places the liberating service-learning framework within a theory of community development and outside of its ongoing emphasis as an experimental education model.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.