Treat others the way they want to be treated. — The Platinum Rule


Service-Learning is integral to the Commons curriculum and reflects the College’s commitment to providing educational experiences that will prepare its graduates for the demands of active and responsible citizenship. The College has established the Center for Civic Advancement with a full-time staff in order to support faculty and students in planning and undertaking service placements and projects.

The service-learning graduation requirement may be fulfilled through a Service-Learning course (each four semester credits), a Service-Learning Practicum (for two semester credits), an approved internship or through an approved course with a significant service-learning component. It is recommended that students complete their Service-Learning

Students may choose from several Service-Learning classes which are offered each year. Immersion classes involve travel and possibly a stay in another location, sometimes in another culture. Other classes remain in the Greeneville/Greene County area to carry out their service activities. Community issues such as social justice, economic opportunity, environmental protection or restoration, education or health and wellness may be the focus of these classes.

The student who chooses a summer Service–Learning Practicum will take on a role working with a community organization and will gain practical experience providing service through that role. To help prepare students for the challenges of service learning, the course, Theory and Practice of Citizenship, is included in the Commons curriculum, which is taken in the sophomore year.

Service-Learning Requirement (2 to 4 Hours)

This requirement may be met through an existing course (below), an approved internship, or an approved course with a significant Service-Learning component. *All Service-Learning courses have as prerequisite sophomore standing and successful completion of CMNS 251. Contact the CCA for more information.

SVLN 354
Service Learning: Northeast Tennessee

4 semester hours.

Students may engage in a variety of service activities within the Greeneville/Greene County or Tri-Cities area. These activities involve issues of social justice, economic opportunity, environmental protection or restoration, education or health and wellness. They may use community-based research techniques to identify community needs and help accomplish community goals. Readings, class sessions, journals and writing assignments will help the students learn from their service experiences. This is a one block course. Learning Outcomes: Civic Engagement.

SVLN 356
Service Learning Immersion

4 semester hours.

This course centers on travel to a setting outside Greene County, where students will be immersed in a service experience. Travel may be to sites involving another culture either within or outside the U.S. Working through a host organization, students will put in 70-100 hours of service. The service needed may involve issues of social justice, economic opportunity, environmental protection or restoration, education, or health and wellness. Readings and research before and after the trip will help students understand the issue they confront and the setting where they are offering service. Discussion and writing assignments will help students reflect on and learn from their service experiences. The process of living and working together and making collective decisions will be a laboratory for the practice of civility. Students should register fro this course, but final participation is determined through an application process. The Self-Knowledge outcome and issues of social justice will be examined. This is a one block course.  Some examples of the trips taken include:

  • Gulfport, MS – Hurricane Katrina relief, “mucking out” people’s homes
  • Washington, D.C. – worked with homeless and homebound
  • Navajo reservation in Arizona – helped with therapeutic riding program
  • New Orleans – students rehabbed a house for volunteers in the Lower 9th Ward.
  • Belize – students worked at a school tutoring and mentoring students.


SVLN 450
Independent Study in Service Learning

4 semester hours.

This course provides additional in-depth experience in service-learning and/or the opportunity to research issues raised by a previous service-learning course. Advance arrangements should be made with the instructor. Prerequisites: SVLN/CMNS 354 or 356.


SVLN 451
Practicum in Civic Engagement

4 semester hours.

This course is designed to allow students to engage in intensive study and action in a community organization. Students will explore theories and concepts of civic involvement and methodologies of community-based research, participatory action research and community mapping using GIS and GPS technology. Students will develop and implement a community-based research or mapping project around a social issue and /or with a public policy focus with a public or private not-for-profit organization pertaining to their major to address a community need. Prerequisite: SVLN 351, 354, or 356 (or satisfaction of the Service-Learning/Commons requirement)


SVLN 455
Civic Arts Project – Capstone Internship

4 semester hours.

This capstone course is designed to prepare students to develop and implement a Community-Based Research and/or a Civic Engagement project, when possible, with a public policy focus.Drawing on the student’s learning and experience from previous community work, the student will have identified a community need. Through practical deliberation, problem-solving and discussion with community members, the student will design the project. A proposal must be developed and a project committee established including the student, a community member, a representative from the Center for Civic Advancement and a faculty member chosen by the student. Prerequisite: SVLN 451