Engaging the Graduate Student in Learning through Service-Learning: A Case Study


  • Justin Charles Velten The University of Texas at Tyler


Faculty integration of service-learning into the classroom has proven an effective method of engagement within the undergraduate experience. This case study addresses a gap in the student-engagement literature with a discussion on the effectiveness of service-learning projects on class content-comprehension at the graduate level. A post service-learning experience graduate student focus group provided four findings that can help guide both novice and veteran faculty in implementing or enhancing service-learning within the graduate experience. Students noted service-learning aided course content-comprehension via practical application, the importance of organization/representative fit, the need for a follow up session, and gratitude toward adult-like treatment.

Author Biography

Justin Charles Velten, The University of Texas at Tyler


Dr. Justin Velten serves as Assistant Professor of Communication at The University of Texas at Tyler, where he teaches courses on Intercultural, Interpersonal, and Persuasive Communication. Before coming to UT Tyler, Dr. Velten served as Major Gifts Officer with Herald of Truth Ministries, an expatriate-focused Christian media missions organizations and Go Culture International Coach for expatriates preparing for international and intercultural experiences. His research interests lie within intercultural readiness training within education and missions as well as student engagement through service-learning. He currently assists the UT Tyler Global Awareness Through Education (GATE) program with intercultural readiness training and program assessment and has presented service-learning research in Canada and as well as intercultural communication research at the International Communication Association conference in Lodz, Poland.