An exploratory study on the value of service learning projects and their impact on community service involvement and critical thinking

Mathew Joseph (University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
George W. Stone (North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)
Kimberly Grantham (University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Nukhet Harmancioglu (Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey)
Essam Ibrahim (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Publication date: 17 July 2007



This exploratory study attempts to capture some of the principal benefits/factors attributable to service learning/community service projects, from a student perspective.


A sample of 67 males and 83 females (16 graduate, 71 seniors, and 63 juniors) participated in the study.


Students believe that their college experience is preparing them for the job market, that critical thinking has been enhanced, and that their college academic experience has emphasized community service upon graduation.

Practical implications

The results increase one's knowledge of the benefits of service learning since so much emphasis is currently being placed on improving the critical thinking and problem‐solving ability of undergraduate business students.


Practitioners would be interested in understanding the impact that service learning can have on the problem‐solving ability of potential employees. If additional research could advance the proposition that students with service learning experience are generally superior in terms of their problem‐solving skills to students with no similar experience, then evidence of a service learning component on a student résumé suddenly adds value to the employer.



Joseph, M., Stone, G.W., Grantham, K., Harmancioglu, N. and Ibrahim, E. (2007), "An exploratory study on the value of service learning projects and their impact on community service involvement and critical thinking", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 318-333.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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