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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Service-learning continues to develop as an integral component of higher education curricula, with administrators embracing the positive impact that it can have on the communities involved. The higher education environment, however, has changed in recent years. The global economic downturn of 2007– 2008 decreased university endowments and has made funding more difficult to obtain and education more financially prohibitive. Simultaneously, an increased scrutiny of the value of a college education by the federal government, accrediting agencies, and the general public has driven institutions to focus efforts on learning outcomes. This investigative study of five universities with established SL programs is a first attempt to update SL theory and practice in light of the current academic climate. The results indicate that while the literature appears to maintain a general relevance, specific “twist” themes also emerged that might better describe SL administration in the second decade of the 21st century. Based on the literature, current publications engaging higher education trends, and study results, the researchers put forth a scholarly perspective they hope will create a context for SL in the future, spark conversations about the success of SL programs in the current environment, provide evidence that SL administration is continually evolving, and encourage additional work in this area.

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