Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Dan Sarofian-Butin


Business schools exhibit a remarkable ability to produce graduates who are exceptionally analytical; however, these students have been shown to lack sensitivity to the impact of actions taken in the workplace, in communities, and in society. Service-learning is a method that has been proven to instill stronger ethics in business students. Bentley University, a business school in Waltham, Massachusetts, models its Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center after the “Students as Colleagues” framework championed by its founding Director, Dr. Edward Zlotkowski (2006). By employing this approach, Bentley positions its undergraduate students as leaders in social impact initiatives, thereby preparing these students to enter an increasingly competitive world with not only with a working knowledge of ethical behavior, but also a strong sense of civic responsibility. Utilizing the Social Change Leadership Development Model (HERI, 1996) as a parallel framework, this case study empirically investigates how certain aspects of these students’ service-learning experiences affect their civic leadership development. Drawing inferences from trends in alumni feedback, it seeks to inform higher education service-learning practitioners about the experiences and factors that most significantly impact the desired outcomes they seek for business students. Armed with this information, these leaders can restructure service-learning programs to more intentionally focus on these experiences and factors, and they can better equip students to leverage their business education as they become agents of social change.