At La Sierra University, students realize the value of their education through involvement in a culture of mission and service from the moment they step on campus. This is imbedded in the curriculum and at the heart of the our institutional mission, To Seek, To Know, To Serve.

What is Service-Learning?

Building on a tradition of more than 25 years of community service, our campus embraces the educational strategy known as Service-Learning where community based service is incorporated into academic instruction to support the learning goals of a course. Service-Learning projects are course driven, determined by the faculty member’s instructional goals, while at the same time responding to genuine needs in the community.

In addition to enhancing the goals of a course, Service-Learning provides an avenue for meeting the University mission by providing significant service to the community and strengthening students’ understanding of and commitment to their community. Guided reflection supports critical thinking and self-analyses of responsibility to our communities as citizens and Christians.

Students are required to complete three Service-Learning courses to graduate from La Sierra University and may choose from more than thirty available courses. 

Without a doubt Service-Learning was one of the most memorable educational moments throughout my time at La Sierra University. I am proud to have graduated from La Sierra and to have done Service-Learning. La Sierra University taught me to be a life long learner and to continually seek opportunities to serve our community.

Demitrio Camarena, 2010

National Recognition

La Sierra University has been nationally recognized for our commitment to service by the:

  • 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Presidential Awardee
  • President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (2007-2013) “With Distinction” (2007-2008, 2010-2013)
  • Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification in the area of Curricular Engagement (2008)

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll program recognizes colleges and universities in the Honor Roll with Distinction and the Honor Roll categories. La Sierra University has been included in the honor roll program awards each year since an initial award in 2008, most years landing on the Honor Roll with Distinction. In February 2013, La Sierra University received the 2013 Presidential Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service during the annual meeting of the American Council on Education. Jonathan Greenblatt, special assistant to President Barack Obama, and Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of CNCS presented the awards. Greenblatt is also director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council. The recognition commends La Sierra’s achievements in a special focus area, Promise Neighborhoods, which also aligns with President Obama’s education and innovation priorities. La Sierra was cited for its efforts during the 2011-12 school year to aid the region’s residents through various outreach programs including Service-Learning classes, Enactus team activities in economic empowerment, and other civic involvement. Total service hours, including these categories as well as campus service experiences and student missions activities culminated in 1,888 students fulfilling 84,771 hours. For academic Service-Learning classes alone, 899 La Sierra students provided 14,106 hours of service.

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It’s hands down the best experience I’ve had all year. The two hours I’ve spent with this man every week were the best times of our lives.

Brent Modell, History capstone class, 2009