Service Learning & Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

The Center for Leadership and Service strives to support community engagement and innovation ideas pioneered by FIU students. If you, your organization, or your team has a new community project, innovation, or social entrepreneur idea, apply for funding to make your passion a reality.

Service Learning

Service-Learning connects learning with a community service experience in conjunction with academic instruction. Students looking for community service organizations to complete service-learning or volunteer hours will need to search community partners through PantherConnect.

  • Definitions
    • Academic Service-Learning – Service-learning is defined as a “course-based, credit bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle & Hatcher, 2009, p.38).
    • Civic Engagement – “Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual voluntarism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement encompasses a range of specific activities such as working in a soup kitchen, serving on a neighborhood association, writing a letter to an elected official or voting”. (Definition of Civic Engagement (2009). Retrieved October 18, 2021, from
    • Community Engagement - Community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. (The Carnegie Foundation)
    • Philanthropy – The effort or inclination to increase the well-belling of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations. (Philanthropy. (2000).The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. April 15, 2009)
    • Service-Learning – “Service Learning” is defined as an instructional strategy in which service is clearly and effectively harnessed to the learning goals of a course. A service-learning course is one in which students participate in and reflect on a service activity as a means to attain the course's learning objectives. (National Commission of Service-Learning)
    • Volunteerism – The engagement of students in activities where the primary emphasis is on the service being provided and the primary intended beneficiary is clearly the service recipient. (3Campus Compact. (2003). Service-Learning: A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education by Andrew Furco. In Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit: Readings and Resources for Faculty (2nd ed., pp. 11-14). Providence: Brown University.)
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Links
  • Recommended Courses / Academic Certificate
    Academic Certificate in Leadership Studies The Certificate in Leadership Studies prepares students for this changing nature of leadership through coursework and practice that emphasizes relationship building, change management, global dynamics, intercultural understanding and collaboration. PAD 3431 Exploring Leadership: yourself, your organizations and your communities This course is designed to be an interactive exploration of personal leadership development. Through the introduction of current theories and models, you will increase your understanding of leadership, examine how attitudes about yourself and others influence leadership behavior, and stimulate the development of new skills through demonstration and practice. The course considers leadership topics from three perspectives: the individual, the group, and the society. Readings, discussions, reflections, and experiential activities will examine self-development and understanding, group dynamics, organizational design, ethics, and teamwork. SOW 4932 Service Learning : Social Change and Contemporary Social Issues This course examines volunteerism from historical and contemporary perspectives. It provides students with an opportunity to study and experience the urban community and to discover how communities can bridge differences among people. This course has as its major objective the encouraging of critical thinking and practical experience with respect to the concepts of citizenship and social responsibility. This course includes a required experimental component involving students in a community-based service-learning project.