FAQs | LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership


What is the Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership (CCELL)?

CCELL serves as LSU's clearinghouse for service-learning partnerships and community-engaged research. We promote community engagement and facilitate campus-community partnerships.

What is service-learning?

A service-learning partnership involves a community partner (usually a nonprofit organization, governmental agency, PK- 12 public school, or the philanthropic arm of a for-profit organization) and faculty member working together to develop a service placement or project that will engage students in serving the community partner's needs while gaining an enhanced understanding of the learning objectives in an academic course. These partnerships involve an entire class, or occasionally a small group of students, serving with your organization for an entire semester. 

Our program is founded upon a reciprocal relationship between students and community partners. We strive to make a partnership with LSU service-learning a positive experience for everyone involved. By definition, a service-learning project must serve the needs of your organization. Please notify us at ccell@lsu.edu or 225-578-4245 if you have concerns about the reciprocity of a project.

How is service-learning different from volunteering?

  • Service-learning is designed to benefit both the student and the community. The service activities meet community needs and enhance student understanding of course content. Service goals are aligned with learning objectives.

  • Volunteerism and community service activities are designed to benefit the community. The benefit to the student is limited to learning how service makes a difference in the lives of the service recipients.

  • Practicums, field education, internships and co-op education are designed to benefit the student by providing experience in a particular field of study. The student typically works in the private sector rather than for a nonprofit and may even be paid for the work.

What kinds of service do service-learners provide?

There are two kinds of service. For both types, students should be able to relate their work directly to the mission of your organization. 

  • Deliverable projects are service projects that require the completion of some project as the service goal. An example of this sort of service project is business writing students writing grant proposals with a local nonprofit organization. It is the end product, the finished grant proposal, which is required for the completion of the project, not a certain number of service hours. Projects must be well defined. Students must be provided with information and access to a knowledgeable individual who can answer their questions.

  • Placement projects are service projects that require a number of hours of service as the service goal. Placement projects should have consistent hours so that students can serve regularly throughout the academic semester.

What are some examples of service-learning classes?

  • Biological engineering students build school playgrounds.
  • Education, math, science, music and English students tutor and mentor elementary school children.
  • Computer science students build customized computer applications and websites with nonprofits.
  • Ecology students identify and eliminate invasive plants in wildlife conservation areas.
  • English students build community gardens, conduct youth poetry workshops, and create newsletters with nonprofits.
  • New and unique courses are added each semester.

How can community agencies or groups get involved with LSU service-learning?

Click on the Community Resources button on the top menu to submit your organization's contact information, partnership ideas and/or feedback.