Berea College is a Christian liberal arts college in Berea, Kentucky (USA). Founded in 1855 by the abolitionist John Gregg Fee as the first interracial and coeducational college in the American South, Berea charges no tuition and admits only academically promising students, primarily from the Appalachia region of the US, who have limited economic resources. Berea’s mission includes a pledge to “serve the Appalachian region primarily through education but also by other appropriate services.” Berea College’s website>>
Berea College’s motto is motto is "Learning, labor, and service," and it requires that all of its students work at least 10 hours per week. Many of these jobs are relating to the general functioning of the college, but Berea also partners with numerous community organizations so that students can complete their work requirement through community service. Students work with these community partners during the school year and also during summer breaks. Learn more about Berea’s labor requirement>>
The Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS)
Berea College has a long history of service, and most of the current service and outreach programs have been in existence for decades, including Students for Appalachia, the Bonner Scholars Program, Habitat for Humanity, and People Who Care. In 2000, a new department, the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS) was created to house all of the student-led service programs and community outreach offices, and to lead an initiative to integrate service into the academic curriculum. CELTS provides a network of support and resources as well as a common meeting place for students, faculty, staff and community partners involved with Berea’s service-related activities. The opportunities for service, outreach, and service-learning facilitated by CELTS take place in the immediate Berea community, in the larger Appalachian region, and at sites throughout the United States and the world. Learn more>>
Service Learning at Berea
Berea College’s service learning program was established along with CELTS in 2000. Berea has steadily increased the number of service learning courses offered, expanding it to over 20 disciplines. The institutionalization of service learning has been supported by CELTS through a variety of ways including competitive grants for SL courses and Faculty Seminars in Service-Learning that provide faculty members an intensive opportunity to explore service-learning through readings and discussions. Learn more>>
Student-led Service Programs
CELTS seeks to not only engage students in service, but also to provide opportunities for leadership and learning. Students serve as Program Managers and staff for each of the service-based programs hosted by CELTS. Their responsibilities include recruiting and training volunteers, planning and executing weekly program activities, facilitating team meetings, and mentoring team members to develop the same skills. CELTS uses a leadership development model that emphasizes peer mentoring, students sharing knowledge with each other, and student leaders facilitating service and learning experiences for those they lead. Some of the service programs led by Berea students include Adopt-a-Grandparent, Berea Teen Mentoring, First Book, Habitat for Humanity, and the Hispanic Outreach Program.