Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Dwight Allen

Committee Member

Jennifer Morrow


Community service has increasingly become part of students' educational experience. It is seen both as a stand alone requirement and as a core component integrated into course objectives. Much has been learned about the effects of community service on students, but there remain unanswered questions. This study compares four structures of mandatory community service differing in the amount of peer and faculty interaction. It also examines the influence of students' emotional reactions to community service experiences. The participants for the study are college freshmen enrolled in a required environmental course. Hierarchical regressions are utilized to explore the influences of community service structure and other independent variables on four student outcomes: community service attitudes, social and civic responsibility, academic sense of belonging, and students' evaluation of their community service experience. Students who participated in the model of service with the most peer and faculty interaction reported more positive evaluations than students in other models. Students who participated in activities that directly benefited others had more favorable outcomes than students who engaged in activities that helped the community generally. Students who experienced personal satisfaction, happiness, surprise, or guilt during their community service reported more positive outcomes, while students who felt anger, fear, or disgust while engaged in service had more negative attitudes.