The See-Serve-Solve Model: A Comprehensive Model of Service-Learning in Community Contexts

Shauna L. Sowga, Professor Assistant Professor of Sociology/Criminology from Columbus State Community College

Designing Service-learning classes can be challenging. Some of the challenges include how to effectively connect the course material to service activities, how to make the service aspect of the course more impactful, and how to successfully help students synthesize what they have learned throughout their experiences. In this paper presentation, I use examples of my See-Serve-Solve model in a Social Problems course taught at a community college in the Midwest. This course is completely constructed with the Service-learning component as the vehicle for learning. In this class, students SEE-observe data about a specific social problem they are interested in, which can include a thorough literature review as well as field research on their problem. Students then SERVE to mitigate the social problem, by engaging in direct work within the community. 

Finally, they “SOLVE” the social problem by writing a policy paper regarding the social problem. Throughout the course, students are engaged in meaningful discussions of their projects that weave course concepts naturally into their interactions. The policy part of their project acts as a capstone to their learning and an effective way to assess the learning and application of what they’ve learned. This model could be useful in many courses that use a Service-learning approach, particularly in environmental, rural, urban, and community sociology courses as well as courses such on deviance and social problems.

Connect with Presenter: ssowga {at} cscc(.)edu