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Service is ...

What is Service at SAU?
Service is at the core of being an Ambrosian. It is important to St. Ambrose University, as part of our mission and our identity as a Catholic, diocesan university which is grounded in Catholic Social Teaching.

Service occurs in multiple forms at St. Ambrose University. Service and Service-Learning opportunities give students, faculty and staff multiple ways to give back and connect the university to our local community.

Definition of Service
Service is often thought of as simply performing good works or deeds, especially for those who are in need. While this is important, service for a Catholic university means more than an occasional trip or project. At St. Ambrose University, students are encouraged to develop their lives into lives dedicated to service and concern for justice.  

Catholic Social Teaching shows us that God has a special concern for the poor and those in need, and that we are called to show concern for those in need just as God does. Thus all Ambrosians are called to develop lives dedicated to the good of others, especially those who are in need. Service at St. Ambrose University is more than just something we do; it is part of who we are.

Definition of Service Learning
"Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning" (Jacoby, 1996; 2003).

Service learning also is recognized in research on college students as a high impact educational practice.

"The idea of service-learning is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life" (Kuh, 2008).