EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship


Perceived Benefits of Service Learning


Recreation and Park Administration

Document Type


Publication Date



Service learning is becoming a more utilized method of instruction in collegiate settings, and holds the potential to provide a deeper, more transferable meaning of course material for students. The purpose of this research was to examine if therapeutic recreation (TR) concentration students perceived service learning to be more personally and academically beneficial than non-TR concentrations in a collegiate recreation program. Undergraduate and graduate students in a recreation program at a regional, American university were asked to complete a survey in a class with a service learning component. A total of 307 surveys were completed, for a response rate of 76%. Results showed that the TR students perceived service learning as more personally and academically beneficial than the non-TR concentrations. Due to the scant amount of research available related to cognitive and affective effects of service learning on collegiate recreation students, this study will help bridge the gap between academia and the recreation workforce. The results of this study support future implementation of service learning at the collegiate level, specifically in recreation-related academic departments, and highlights possible discrepancies between TR and non-TR concentrations in the effectiveness of service learning on personal and academic outcomes.

Journal Title

Journal of Experiential Education