Document Type


Original Date


Date of Submission

August 2018


Institutional data across multiple academic years were used to assess the impact of undergraduate service-learning class participation on three critical student success metrics: Inclusive excellence, Degree completion, and Quality of learning. Results indicate that traditionally underrepresented student groups participated in VCU service-learning classes at expected rates given their proportion in the overall student population. Thirty-seven percent of undergraduate service-learning students were from underrepresented minority groups and 30% were Pell grant recipients. The average three-year retention rate across four matriculating cohorts of first-time, full-time undergraduate students was 84% for service-learning students compared to 70% for non-service-learning students. Seventy-two percent of undergraduate service-learning students graduated in five years or less compared to 62% for non-service-learning students. Finally, on the 2017 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) VCU seniors who had passed at least one service-learning class during their undergraduate career reported significantly higher levels of faculty-student interaction and integrative learning than did VCU seniors who took no service-learning classes.

Is Part Of

VCU Division of Community Engagement

Recommended Citation

Pelco, L. E. (2018). 2017-18 Student success and service-learning report. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

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