Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Campus di Brescia

Service Learning (English)

Service Learning is a pedagogical proposal aimed at students that integrates community service and learning into a single training activity.

The aim is to support and enhance the development of the students’ knowledge and skills, involving them in active citizenship and social participation paths where they can understand and respond to the needs of the community.

It is a voluntary activity, but at the same time, it is planned and institutionally supported by the University in an integrated form with its training offerings.


Characteristics of Service Learning activities

An activity can be defined as Service Learning as long as it includes the following characteristics:

  • Providing a tangible benefit to the local community
  • Being carried out on a voluntary basis by a group of students of a given course or teaching
  • Having a learning outcome for the student
  • Taking place within a well-defined framework
    • Temporal, with a precise duration in terms of beginning and end
    • Spatial, through the identification of a specific context of intervention, with an external body hosting and supervising the activity
    • With defined and recognizable final objectives and results.

Activities may be direct, involving direct interaction with the beneficiaries of the service, or indirect, aiming to improve the living conditions of a community more broadly. They can also take the form of research on collective phenomena or advocacy, which involves dialogue, information sharing, and activating social partners in decision-making processes.

Service Learning at Università Cattolica

Since the 2017/2018 academic year, the Università Cattolica has undertaken a number of initiatives and events to promote Service Learning at its Brescia campus, establishing collaborations with the Italian University Network of Service Learning and with the European Network of Universities promoting Service Learning.

Starting from the 2021/2022 academic year, the Università Cattolica is committed to consolidate the experience gained in previous years, by launching an experimental project aimed at defining and formalizing the Service Learning offerings within its training courses.

The experimentation lasted for two academic years and involved the faculties located at the Brescia campus of the University (Arts and Philosophy, Psychology, Education, Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Political and Social Sciences).

Considering the positive outcomes of the two-year experimentation, starting from the academic year 2023/2024, the Service Learning project has been configured as a regular activity at the Brescia campus.

Simultaneously, the University has initiated a new experimentation of the project at the Piacenza and Cremona campuses, involving the faculties active in those locations (Economics and Law, Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences, Education).