At Tusculum College, Service is an integral part of the curriculum.

Service Learning in the Curriculum
Throughout their college career, students will engage in community- building exercises and build interpersonal skills. They will be encouraged to use reflection to identify personal strengths and weaknesses, and identify educational and career goals.
Non-service learning courses may also include service. Faculty members are encouraged to include service learning in course content, and this practice continues to grow in popularity.
“It is my duty as a member of this community to engage in civic action, to make others in the community aware of the issues of homelessness that even I had been ignorant about. I will forever be changed by this experience…”
- Ginger Reeves, SVLN 354 class

Many courses include service components. In addition, as part of the Commons Core Curriculum, all students have the opportunity for practical experience outside the classroom and a chance to serve the community.

Students acquire valuable skills in areas such as leadership, collective decision making, communication, working in groups, and public problem solving. Most important, students gain knowledge of their ability to work together in order to make a difference.


This requirement may be met through an existing course (below), an approved internship, or an approved course with a significant Service-Learning component. *All Service-Learning courses have as prerequisite sophomore standing and successful completion of CMNS/SOCI 251. Contact Joyce Doughty for more information.

SVLN 352 - Independent Study
Advanced Service Learning Practicum

2 semester hours.

Independently, students will build on their service-learning experience by completing at least 50 additional hours of service–either continuing a service placement or undertaking a new placement. Service placements may be on campus, in the surrounding region, in the student’s home communities, or in other national or international areas. In addition, students will keep a journal of their service experience, attend sessions scheduled through the CCA for reflection on that experience, and conduct research into the issues addressed by their service placement. Enrollment in the course occurs after a service-learning agreement is signed by the site supervisor for the placement. Credit is granted upon satisfactory completion of the service hours, the final evaluation, the final essay, and the objectives mutually established at the beginning of the placement. SVLN 352 may be completed within a block or over the semester. The Self-Knowledge outcome and issues of social justing will be examined. Offered as needed. Prerequisite SVLN/CMNS 351, 354, or 356.

SVLN 354 - Offered in Blocks 2,4,6,7 & 8
Service Learning Local Concentration

4 semester hours.

Students may engage in a variety of service activities in Greeneville/Greene County, involving issues of social justice, economic opportunity, environmental protection or restoration, education, or health and wellness. They may use community-based research techniques to identify community needs and help accomplish community goals. Readings, class sessions, journals and writing assignments will help the students learn from their service experiences. GIS mapping may be incorporated in conjunction with Community-based Research. This is a one block course. The Self-Knowledge outcome and issues of social justice will be examined. Offered every year.

SVLN 356 - Offered in Blocks 3  & 7
Service Learning Immersion

4 semester hours.

This course centers on travel to a setting outside Greene County, where students will be immersed in a service experience. Travel may be to sites involving another culture either within or outside the U.S. Working through a host organization, students will put in 70-100 hours of service. The service needed may involve issues of social justice, economic opportunity, environmental protection or restoration, education, or health and wellness. Readings and research before and after the trip will help students understand the issue they confront and the setting where they are offering service. Discussion and writing assignments will help students reflect on and learn from their service experiences. The process of living and working together and making collective decisions will be a laboratory for the practice of civility. Students should register fro this course, but final participation is determined through an application process. The Self-Knowledge outcome and issues of social justice will be examinied. This is a one block course. Offered at one or two sites every year. Some examples of the trips taken include:

  • Gulfport, MS - Hurricane Katrina relief, “mucking out” people’s homes
  • Washington, D.C. - worked with homeless and homebound
  • Navajo reservation in Arizona - helped with therapeutic riding program
  • New Orleans - students rehabbed a house for volunteers in the Lower 9th Ward.
  • Belize - students worked at a school tutoring and mentoring students.

SVLN 450 - Independent Study
Indpendent Study in Service Learning

4 semester hours.

This course provides additional in-depth experience in service-learning and/or the opportunity to research issues raised by the previous service-learning course. Advance arrangements should be made with the instructor. The Self-Knowledge outcome and issues of social justice will be examinied. Offered as needed. Prerequisites: SVLN/CMNS 354 or 356.

SVLN 451 - Independent Study
Practicum in Civic Engagement

4 semester hours.

This course is designed to allow students to engage in intensive study and action in a community organization. Students wil explore theories and concepts of civic involvement and methodologies of Community-Based Research, Participatory Action Research, and community mapping using GIS and GPS technology. Students will develop and implement a Community-Based Research or mapping project around a social issue and/or with a public policy focus with a public or private non-profit organiation pertaining to their major to address a community need. Prerequisite: SVLN 351, 354, or 356 (or satisfaction of the Service-Learning Commons requirement).

SVLN 455 - Independent Study
Civic Arts Project - Capstone Internship

4 semester hours.

This capstone course is desined to prepare students to develop and implement a Community-Based Research and/or a Civic Engagement project, when possible, with a public policy focus. Drawing on the student’s learning and experience from previous communtiy work, the student will have identified a communtiy need. Through practical deliberation, problem-solving and discussion with community members, the student will design the project. Projects may be undertaken by groups or by individuals. Students apply for approval through the CCA. Students must develop a proposal for their projects, establish a Project Committee, engage in systematic reflection during the Project, and document their activity and learning. Approval by their Civic Arts Project Committee is required. Prerequisite SVLN 451. The grade of IP can be issued for this course.



This minor is designed to strengthen and enhance the development of strong citizenship qualities and the habits of practical wisdom that are at the heart of Tusculum College’s Civic Arts emphasis. Through the Civic Engagement minor, students will develop community-based research skills, increase their knowledge of public policy, and discover the connections between their major field of study and community interests and public policy.

This minor is open to all students in any major and is an excellent choice for students with interest in social action, civic responsibility, and/or public policy as well as students seeking to broaden their experience and scope of potential career opportunities within their major. The minor will be an expectation of students in the Bonner Leader program if their course schedules allow. In the program, students will gain an understanding of various methods of civic engagement, including the use of mapping technologies (GPS & GIS); participate in the democratic process; explore the dynamics of communities and the process of change; develop and implement a research project to address a social issue; and examine the issues of poverty, diversity, and social justice and reflect on the impact of these issues on themselves, the community, and society.

REQUIREMENTS (20 semester hours)
POLS 203
American Government
4 credits Basic understanding of structure and power.
PSYC 321
Community Psychology
4 credits Basic research methods, data collection, community-based research experience.
** Choose one course from approved list submitted by participating departments 4 credits Connection of student’s major field of study to understanding positive community change. Substitution form required.
SVLN 451
Civic Engagement Practicum
4 credits See course listings.
SVLN 455
Civic Arts Project/Capston Internship
4 credits See course listings.

Community of Promise
Tusculum College is a College of Promise. This means that we as a campus have joined America's Promise in taking on the responsibility and pleasure of offering our Greeneville community youth the 5 Promises.

Tusculum College is pleased to offer a minor designed to enhance the development of citizenship qualities.
Learn More!