Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


David Ross

Committee Member

Dana Mills


The research questions focused on students’ perceptions of how the school’s resources influenced students’ benefits from community service. This research is designed to provide information that identifies factors that affect students’ perceived benefits from their mandatory or credit merit community service work based on high schools varying approaches to implementing a mandatory community as a graduation requirement or awards credit toward graduation for students’ community service work in states without a statewide high school service requirement; credit toward graduation for service-learning or community service; or explicitly permits districts to adopt a service requirement for high school graduation.

The service-learning experiences for this study were designed using experiential educational theory and a blended framework from community service learning common goals (a) usefulness and accessibility of school support resources (b) ability to complete (c)gain new awareness of community’s needs (d) value of their service (e) enjoyment and (a)list of local community service sites (a) list of local community service cites, (b)list of examples of community service work, (c) school community service mentor, coordinator or guide, (d) a method to identify types of community service work based on student interest and ability, (e) providing transportation or transportation information to and from community service site, (f) authentication of student’s completed community service work, (g) identification of community service purpose or goals, (h) community service work tied to academic work or addressed in class, (i) reflection or discussion post community service work.

The literature review unveiled that community service with structured resources available to students provides a more meaningful learning experience for students and higher sense of civic duty along with the importance of individual participation. Prior studies reveal that unstructured mandatory volunteering from students have had counterproductive results.

The quantitative study research design using a student centered learning theoretical framework lens collected data from high school students in grades 9-12 who have completed a minimum of one community service hour and attend a school that has community service as a mandatory requirement or gain credit toward graduation.

The findings in this study provide information for schools to improve the efficacy of their community service programs approach and implantation to maximize students’ positive learning experiences and minimize negative experiences.

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