Academics & Community Service: A Positive Relationship

Throughout the years, there have been many studies that prove community service and academic success have a positive relationship with each other. Despite the more obvious benefits of community service, such as helping those in need and raising money for specific charity events and philanthropic causes, the increase in students who show improvement or impressive statistics within their academic career is uncanny.

Melissa KeroackAn article published by the University of Michigan notes that students involved in volunteerism are the ones that need and receive the most gain. According to the article, “Community service provides the critical missing link for many students, an opportunity to apply academic learning to real human needs and to make the knowledge gained usable in one’s thinking beyond the situation in which the learning occurred,” (Benefits of Student Participation in Community Service).

This original information was provided by a study performed by researcher Diane Hedin in 1989, that ultimately concluded that service learning “provides students with the motivation necessary to put forth effort in academics, it gives them more opportunities to integrate and elaborate on their knowledge, and it increases the likelihood of transferring theoretical knowledge to actual practice,”(Benefits of Student Participation in Community Service). This initial lack of motivation, according to Hedin, is one of the main problems that leads students into academic failure or the inability to do well and complete courses.

In addition, students who actively participate in community service increase their personal, interpersonal, and social development. An article published in 2000 written by Shelley Billing of the RMC Research Corporation concluded that not only did community service lead to an increase in academic motivation, but it also led to increases in student engagement, school attendance, and new perspectives on lifestyle choices and behavior.

To read more about the positive benefits that community service has on academic achievement based on studies performed across the globe, please read the University of Michigan’s article here.