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Projects with Promise

Vol. 27 No. 1

The Impact on College Students of Service-Learning in After-School Programs

April 4, 2022


In the United States, the dearth of quality expanded learning opportunities (ELO), such as afterschool and summer programs, has long been recognized as a national concern (DeKanter et al., 2000). The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this problem, as expanded learning opportunities of all kinds became increasingly limited in spring 2020 (Carver & Doohen, 2021). This research evaluated a new service-learning project, Honors Afterschool Clubs, which allows college students to fill ELO needs by creating and leading afterschool clubs for high-needs, low-income youth. By analyzing college student pre- and postexperience surveys, semistructured interviews, and focus groups, the authors evaluated the perceived impacts of this project on college students and their learning. Our preliminary results suggest that in addition to providing an essential service to the community, families, and youth, college participants who lead afterschool clubs perceive an improvement in their self-efficacy, interpersonal skills, and career confidence.