Document Type

Article - Open Access

Publication Title

Journal of College & Character

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

This article examines the rise of programs in higher education that award certificates, minors, and/or majors in service-learning. Using Vaughn and Seifer (2008) as a foundation, this study documented and analyzed a total of 31 academic programs that had service-learning at its academic core. Findings from this study suggest that there is indeed a coherent (though far from stable) “field” of service-learning. Moreover, the findings suggest that the strength and structure of a program is strongly dependent on its status; that is, there is a deep dividing line between certificate programs and minors and majors. This has implications for how service-learning scholars and practitioners talk about and thus organize themselves, their field, and their body of core knowledge. The article concludes by highlighting key programmatic and curricular features, examining the status of service-learning as a distinct discipline and drawing forth implications for institutions considering developing service-learning certificates, minors, and majors.