Oglethorpe has a co-curricular program for individual and group volunteer opportunities, but service learning is distinguished as a type of experiential learning that integrates academic learning with community involvement. That is to say that service learning is a way of accomplishing a rigorous academic curriculum in combination with serving real community needs. These are courses which have volunteer work integrated as part of the course itself. Thus the service is closely related to the content of the course.
Service learning is not just about the students involved, however. It is a reciprocal relationship of respect and communication in which both sides – students and community partners – work together to advance their common and individual goals.