Service Learning

Service-learning is a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens.


  • Strives to achieve a balance between service and learning objectives.
  • Partners must negotiate the differences in their needs and expectations.
  • Places an emphasis on addressing community concerns and broad determinants of health.
  • Integrally involves community partners through principle-centered partnerships between communities and health professions schools.
  • Emphasizes reciprocal learning, where traditional definitions of "faculty," "teacher" and "learner" are intentionally blurred. We all learn from each other.
  • Emphasizes reflective practice: reflection facilitates the connection between practice and theory and fosters critical thinking
  • Places emphasis on developing citizenship skills and achieving social change.

Service Learning is a powerful vehicle for strengthening partnerships between health professions schools and communities. It builds a strong commitment to community service and social responsibility, and equips health professionals with community-oriented competencies necessary to practice in today’s changing world of public health. Service learning encourages civic responsibility of students and enhances their understanding of service delivery and health equity.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Peters

Courses offered through the CRCPHP include:

CPH 497/597E Public Health for Community Wellness (2 units)
Course Faculty: Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD and Jennifer Peters
This semester-length couse is offered Fall and Spring Semesters annually
In this course, students develop skills in wellness assessments and lifestyle interventions, gain insights into population health and health disparities through the lens of social determinants of health, and build community relationships for further work such as internships.

CPH 597A Maternal and Child Health in Urban Settings (1 unit)
Course Faculty: Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD and Jennifer Peters
Co-instructors: Alicia Thompson and Ibitola Asaolu
August 7 - 12, 2016 (Summer Session II)
This course works directly with organizations serving marginalized populations including the homeless, refugees, urban Indians, and inner city Latinos/as to enhance their program services and provide new activities and materials for program development. Whether you have lived in Tucson all your life or are newly transplanted, this course will immerse you in Pima County agencies that serve the public health needs of children and families.