Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Movement Sciences

Committee Director

Edward L. Hill

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Emily Eddins


This three-paper format dissertation explored the impact of service-learning on three key constituents: the university, university students conducting the service, and the community receiving the service. Paper one quantitatively explored the impact of service-learning on university students’ perspective through the use of end of year service-learning course evaluations. Students self-reported their outcomes due to participation as it related to professional skills, communication skills, academic learning, values clarification, citizenship skills, and quality indicators of their service-learning program. Paper one also explored if there was a difference between two types of service, direct (e.g., participate directly with the community) and indirect (e.g., project or tasks for the community), on the six domains above. The second paper took a qualitative approach to understand the perceived impact of a direct service-learning program on the university students that implemented the experience. Final written reflections from recreation students were used to explore their experiences in the service-learning after-school program as part of their course requirement. The last paper used mixed methods approach to measure the impact of the service-learning program from paper two on the middle school population served. Pre and post-test scores were used to measure 6th grade students’ resiliency and character development. End of year program satisfaction surveys were analyzed using a content analysis to determine the youths overall impressions of the program. Findings from all three papers suggest that service-learning was not only beneficial to the individuals receiving the service, but also to the students implementing the service, and the university that supported the service efforts.


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