History of CSL


McConnell Foundation
In January 2005, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation launched it’s National University-Based Community Service-Learning Program. They have provided funding to ten Canadian institutions to integrate CSL within their curriculum and to build strong partnerships with their local communities. The Foundation also funds the Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning.

Historical Timeline in the United States (selected dates)

Circa 1905 – William James, John Dewey developing intellectual foundations to service-based learning

1944 – The GI Bill links service and education, offering Americans educational opportunity in return for service to their country

1966-67 – “Service-learning” phrase used to describe a project in East Tennessee with Oak Ridge Associated Universities, linking students and faculty with tributary area development organizations

1969 – Atlanta Service-Learning Conference (sponsors included Southern Regional Education Board, U.S. Dept. HEW, City of Atlanta, Atlanta Urban Corps, Peace Corps, and VISTA)

1971- White House Conference on Youth report full of calls for linking service and learning. Also, the National Center for Public Service Internships was established, and the Society for Field Experience Education (these two merged in 1978 to become the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education)

Circa 1971 – National Student Volunteer Program (became the National Center for Service-Learning in 1979) established. Published Synergist, a journal promoting linking service and learning

1980s- National service efforts are launched at the grassroots level, including Campus Compact (1985): mobilizing service programs in higher education

1989 – Wingspread Principles of Good Practice in Service-Learning written-more than seventy organizations collaborate to produce the ten principles

1993 – Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development endorse the importance of linking service with learning

1997 – Fourth of July Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education published

1997 – Wingspread Declaration Renewing the Civic Mission of the American University published

2001 – First International Conference on Service-Learning Research

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse