Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512


Service Learning

Reflective Service-Learning in General Education

Rooted in the mission of Eckerd College and the goals of the General Education Program, the Reflective Service-Learning (RSL) experience aims to help students understand their roles and responsibilities as engaged global citizens. The program encourages students to engage in service early on and throughout their tenure at Eckerd, while also emphasizing service-learning connected to their academic and professional pursuits.

What is Reflective Service-Learning?

Reflective Service-Learning, as defined by Eckerd's General Education program, is: A carefully monitored service experience in which a student

  1. has intentional learning goals,
  2. critically reflects on what is learned throughout the experience in such a way as to lead to academic enhancement, civic learning and personal growth,
  3. addresses community or global issues and
  4. develops an understanding of their roles and responsibilities as engaged citizens

In contrast to volunteering or community service, reflective service-learning emphasizes the connection between meaningful service and transformative learning. Participants combine practical experience with reflection, leading to an understanding of the social, political, and economic issues at play in their service project. Furthermore, service-learning moves beyond charity, paying attention to deeper matters of justice and community enrichment. Service-learning is rooted in principles of reciprocity and mutual empowerment, where all participants–students, faculty, and community–benefit, learn, and evolve.

Critical Reflection

Critical reflection is the process of making meaning of experience, and should generate learning in the areas of academic enhancement, civic learning, and personal growth. Completion of the reflective service-learning experience in General Education will require reflection exercises linked to each experience. Documentation of these reflective activities will provide content for the RSL portfolio.

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Community Action Stops Abuse

Community Action Stops Abuse

It takes a whole community to stop domestic violence. CASA's vision is a community without domestic violence so that home is a safe place.

Edible Peach Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project

The Edible Peace Patch Project is a not for profit organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty as a factor in educational success and diet-related health issues.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

The mission of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program is to build partnerships to restore and protect Tampa Bay through implementation of a scientifically sound, community-based management plan.