Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F DiPaola

Committee Member

Pamela Eddy

Committee Member

Margaret E Constantino


Service learning is a widespread educational practice, which, at its foundation, deploys students into partnerships with community organizations toward mutual benefit. Thirty years into the practice, there is a substantial body of research pointing to benefits of service learning for students, with less examination on benefits for community partners with whom students are engaged in service. Further, there is a dearth of examination of equity in service learning partnerships between universities and community organizations. This mixed methods program evaluation examined benefits and equity in service learning partnerships brokered and supported by the Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan. Through this study, we sought to increase our understanding of perceived benefits for community partners, as well as university faculty and staff partners. Additionally, the study was aimed at increasing our understanding of the extent to which equity was present in these partnerships. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using partner interviews and extant partnership surveys. Findings point to important perceptions about benefit for both community and university partners and that overall benefits outweigh challenges for both partner groups. Findings also illuminate a relationship between perceptions about equity and benefits and point to the Ginsberg Center playing an important mediating role in fostering this relationship. Implementing recommendations to strengthen key infrastructural supports for these partnerships within Ginsberg Center and, more broadly, within the University of Michigan can mitigate challenges, ensure mutual benefit, maximize equity, and advance the mission of the Ginsberg Center to create positive social change for the public good.



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