Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement

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Experiential and Service-Learning Courses

Experiential and Service-Learning courses are one of Texas A&M - San Antonio's avenues towards becoming a model for student success. Experiential and Service-Learning courses allow students and faculty to reinforce academic learning with applied skills and experiences, preparing students for future careers and community engagement. These courses contribute to the university's vision for 2040 of "Providing academic pathways and transformative experiential learning and research engagement opportunities that contribute to career readiness and high academic achievement at the undergraduate and graduate levels" (Transforming Tomorrow Together 2020).

Experiential learning: a process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting.

Service-Learning: a form of experiential learning that balances class-based learning with the opportunity to serve in the community. Service-learning provides a practical, progressive learning experience.

The Faculty Senate approved the official designation process for Experiential and Service-Learning courses in May 2018. The faculty-led committee reviews and officially designates classes. Mays Center staff supports the implementation of courses and provides resources and support to faculty interested in developing experiential or service-learning courses. If you are interested in learning more or want to get involved, please contact the Mays Center.

Experiential and Service-Learning Course Approval Committee

This committee comprises faculty members from each college and a representative from the Faculty Senate and is supported by Mays Center staff.

Members for AY2022-2023 are:
  • Dr. Karen Burgard, College of Education & Human Development (Chair)
  • Dr. Weixing Ford, College of Business
  • Robert Alonzo, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. (George) Bob Shelton, Faculty Senate
  • Krystina Irvin, Director of Experiential Learning, Mays Center (ex-officio)
  • Elisa Avila, Experiential and Service-Learning Coordinator, Mays Center (ex-officio)


Experiential and Service-Learning Course Designation Process

  1. Request a consultation or resources on Texas A&M-San Antonio's Experiential and Service-Learning programming to get started. Experiential learning is based on the Kolb Learning Cycle, which relies on student reflection as a guiding practice. Courses across disciplines take many distinct and topic-specific approaches, getting creative about reinforcing and applying course materials and learning objectives to projects, services, or other hands-on experiences.
  2. Complete an Application for Experiential Learning or Service-Learning Course Designation and submit it to the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. There will be a call for applications each fall and spring semester. (Click here to view the application)
  3. Submit to the Experiential and Service-Learning Course Approval Committee. This committee comprises faculty members from each college and a representative from the Faculty Senate and is supported by Mays Center staff.
  4. Once reviewed by the committee, the course will be designated as:
    1. The course will be designated either Experiential Learning or Service-Learning, and course attributes in the registration system (Banner) will be updated.
    2. Resubmission Recommended. If the syllabus requires major changes, it will not be approved. The committee will provide feedback to the faculty member to ensure future course approval. Resubmission is encouraged.
    3. Approved Pending Revisions. If the syllabus requires minor changes, it will be approved pending those changes. The committee will share recommendations for revisions, and Mays staff will begin updating course designation with the Registrar.
    4. A guide to approvals can be found here.
  5. Courses are approved for three years. If the course content changes, please inform the Mays Center. The Committee will reach out three years after the initial designation for updated documents and re-application as necessary.
  6. Share your successes with the Mays Center. Mays Center wants to celebrate and showcase the work, creativity, and energy that goes into creating these learning experiences!
Benefits for Faculty
  • Course designation in Banner for faculty teaching courses
  • Access to the on-campus coordinator and consulting for design, implementation, and sustaining courses.
  • Access to on-campus coordinator to support and facilitate community relationships and project logistics.
  • When available, access to funds to support experiential learning and service-learning course materials and other expenses.
Benefits for Students
  • Experiential learning reinforces course content.
  • Exposure to community organizations and businesses
  • Experience in professional environments and relationships
  • Students can earn hours towards President's Volunteer Service Award for service learning.
  • Experience working on teams, project management, and applying critical thinking to real-world problems.
Benefits for Community Partners
  • Our partners, businesses, and non-profit organizations have an opportunity to serve as co-educators for students.
  • Partners have the opportunity to build relationships with future professionals, all while gaining fresh perspectives and new ideas.
  • Partners see students in a practical, applied setting and build connections with potential future volunteers, interns, or recruitment candidates.

List of Currently Approved Courses

NEW! Faculty Guidebook to Experiential and Service-Learning

Examples of Potential Community Partner Matches



Want to talk with someone from the Mays Center?

Contact us!