About Us

The Academic Service Learning (AS-L) Office was launched in 1994 by Dr. Dale Rice, a special education professor through a 'Learn and Serve' grant.

His primary motivation for establishing an Office of Academic Service-Learning was to engage college students in service. Dr. Rice wanted to provide resources to the community, help students feel more connected and increase students' civic mindedness. As a professor, he saw a need to get students and faculty involved in community service activities and as a member of the Ypsilanti community he knew there was a need. In short, he wanted the University community to become active members in their community.

The Office of AS-L, is one of the University's most prominent and prolific areas for University and community programming. The Office of AS-L's core mission is to train faculty in integrating  service-learning or community into courses and/or curriculum. Support is also given to faculty to develop community based programming and scholarship beyond course development. The Office of AS-L took the lead on the crafting and writing of the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement proposal. EMU received this designation in 2008.

AS-L Fast Facts

  • The Office of AS-L has generated over $1.2 Million in grants and contracts since 2006.
  • Conservatively more than 10,000 Eastern Michigan University students have been engaged in a community service experience through an academic service-learning course.
  • On average faculty integrate approximately 10 hours of service per student, therefore community agencies have received over 100,000 hours of service.

If you are interested in current and recent grant-funded programs, initiatives or programs of the Office of Academic Service-Learning and community opportunities, please visit Engage@EMU.

Skip Section Navigation