Introducing Service-Learning During the Pandemic: Lessons Learned


  • James R Dorsett California Institute of Advanced Management


This case study describes the elements and methodology in developing and pilot testing a new service-learning pedagogy at the California Institute of Advanced Management (CiAM) that took place during the pandemic. A description of its purpose and rationale ties the pedagogy to the institute’s vision, and mission and its alignment with the philosophies of Peter Drucker taught at the institute. Supported by current literature, the theoretical underpinnings of service-learning and its application are examined and presented in light of the challenges created by the pandemic, impacting administrators, faculty, community providers, and students alike. To overcome or adapt to these challenges, concepts of change leadership and their applications are analyzed, and an in-depth examination is made of critical reflection’s vital role in the teaching and learning processes. Service-learning outcomes and assessments are explored in detail at each level of the organization, including the institute, the faculty, and the student, as well as the community partner. This case study also includes a description of two semester-long service-learning pilots conducted at CiAM during the pandemic, the resulting outcomes, and the proposed next steps.