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Service Learning and Community Service

Grand View has been named to Presidential Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013 for engaging its students, faculty and staff in 49,461 hours of meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community in 2012! 

At Grand View we will provide students with opportunities for service that enhance learning and the growth of the whole person. Service to others is not only an investment in the success of others, but is also an investment in one’s self. Meaningful service is connected with academic goals utilizing partnerships established between the university and community agencies. Educational skills are reinforced while engaging in work that contributes to the community agency and the larger society. The skills, experiences, and perspectives gained from community service are reaped many times over by those who volunteer their time and talent. We look forward to working with you in these rewarding activities.

Service learning opportunities
Trips are offered during Spring Break. For several years, students have traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi, to work on reconstruction projects needed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The projects are assigned through ELCA associations working in the area. Before leaving, students are trained in basic construction skills like using a drill, hammer and paintbrush. The trips are partially funded by the students and supplemented by fundraising efforts that the students are expected to assist with.

For information on getting involved on the resources we provide for community service and service learning, please contact:

Heidi Pries
Director of Student Involvement and New Student Programs

Goals of Service Learning

* To provide opportunities for students to interact with diverse populations.
* To meet the needs of the Des Moines community.
* To foster civic engagement.
* To develop a lifelong commitment to service.
* To live out the mission of Grand View.

The effects of service learning

(Campus Compact, 2000)
* Students engaged in service learning report stronger faculty relationships than those that are not involved in service learning.
* Service learning has a positive effect on reducing stereotypes and facilitating cultural and racial understanding.
* Service learning participation has an impact on academic outcomes such as understanding, problem analysis, critical thinking and cognitive development.
* Students and faculty report that service learning improves students’ ability to apply what they have learned to the “real world.”
* Community service affects student retention.
* Service learning improves student satisfaction with college.
* Students who participate in service learning in college are more likely to vote, more likely to stay in college, volunteer in their communities, and overall they learn more.
* Students that engage in service learning are more likely to feel engaged with the institution, therefore more likely to give back to the institution after graduation.


Grand View Community Service/Service Learning will provide the following resources:
* Develop and maintain relationships with community organizations.
* Assist faculty in providing sites with appropriate opportunities for students.
* Assist with documentation of the student hours.
* Assist with coordinating the placement of the volunteers.
* Evaluate the student’s experience with the community organization.
* Evaluate the community organization’s experience with the University.
* Conduct class presentations to discuss a variety of service learning opportunities.
* Keep a central list of placements for each semester.
* Review placement proposals received from students each semester.
* Visit students while they are on site.
* Provide training or workshops for faculty who seek assistance on service learning.

Examples of GV service

Students in the Education Club offer tutoring and mentoring within the Des Moines community more than 360 hours a week. Club members help with after school programs and are volunteer tutors for elementary and high school students on GVs campus.  GV students have also partnered with the Gear Up Program at East and North High Schools and talked to these students about the importance of furthering their education beyond high school.

Approximately 100 GV student leaders volunteer each year to serve in the community.  They recently volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up Habitat neighborhoods and the grounds of an elementary school.  Teachers, administrators and students were grateful and said it brought their spirits up and increased their school pride.

GV nursing students are asked to develop partnerships with agencies to serve families, helping them make healthy choices. In the past, students have partnered with Buchanan House, a homeless shelter for youth, spending time cooking and providing education on nutrition and fellowship; Lutheran World Relief, collecting supplies and raising funds to purchase supplies for health kits; and Blood Center of Iowa, coordinating blood drives each year on GVs campus.

Additional service sites:
Southern Care Hospice
Des Moines Before and After School Arts Program
Animal Rescue League
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Luther Park
State Historical Building
Living History Farms
Festival of Trees and Lights
Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa.