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Research Articles

Vol. 26 No. 2

Community-University Partnership in Service-Learning: Voicing the Community Side

January 18, 2021


Service-learning (SL) activities provide multifarious benefits for students, faculty members, and community members. Although the literature includes considerable research on students’ and faculty members’ outcomes, it also reports a lack of attention to benefits for community members. This study sought to address this gap, giving voice to community partners of a SL module in Community Psychology. We collected 12 interviews, complemented by a brief questionnaire exploring community partners’ understanding of SL, their perception of the mutual gain and reciprocity aspects, their motivations, and their challenges. Results show that open attitudes toward collaboration from faculty members strengthen the partnership; community partners consider the opportunity to be coeducators of students as a motivation for their SL involvement; from the perspective of reciprocity, they also particularly appreciate its generative dimension. Giving voice to community partners offers new and useful insights that can contribute to improving SL community–university partnerships.