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Graduation Requirement

To promote a culture of service throughout the college, all students seeking an Associates or Bachelor’s degree are required to complete a minimum of 15 documented hours of Service-Learning. To find out more about how to complete these hours, students may refer to the resource links located on the right or visit the E-LEOS Service Learning Course (for current students only). Students should talk to their advisor, program chair, or instructors for program specific information.

What is Service-Learning?

MCHS Service Learning Definition:

Service-Learning is an experiential learning opportunity that mutually benefits the provider and recipient of service, enhances academic objectives, meets a community-defined need and encourages a college-wide culture of service. These goals are accomplished through specified project objectives, a structured service activity, and guided reflection.

Why is there a Service-Learning Requirement?

To build upon the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy, promote a culture that values service, and acknowledge the higher purpose of higher education institutions, Mercy College includes a Service Learning component within its curriculum. 

Goals for the Service Learning component are:

  • To create a rich context for learning that will enable joining theory with experience and thought with action.
  • To apply discipline-specific and interdisciplinary knowledge as well as critical thinking skills to community defined needs.
  • To foster knowledge, sensitivity, and the challenging of assumptions in regards to various topics such as cultural competence, leadership skills, social justice issues, and community needs - especially as these topics apply to health science.
  • To build community connections and foster ongoing communication with community members, agencies, groups, and organizations.


Quick Links

Kate Jett
Service Learning Initiatives Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

Local (515) 643-6635
Fax (515) 643-6702
Toll Free (800) 637-2994 ext 3-6635
Email servicelearning@mercydesmoines.org
Office Location
Mercy Court Building, Ste A 

Service Learning Opportunities:  Community Partners

Catholic Charities
Central Iowa Shelter & Services
Children & Family Urban Movement
Joppa Outreach
Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation 

Monthly Service-Learning Newsletters

Other Resources
Campus Compact
Iowa Campus Compact
Service-Learning Clearinghouse
Service-Learning Clearinghouse Student Resource

Mailing Address
Mercy College of Health Sciences
921 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-1200