University of Iowa

Honors education often celebrates leadership, especially when leadership through service projects. By the century’s turn, service learning had become a national movement in college education. Already honors students at Iowa have contributed one of its major inventions, generating the 10,000 Hours Show as a device for motivating many students to volunteer community service in small amounts that can cumulate into important effects. For service to become service learning, though, there needs to be academically informed reflection on the experience.


Identify a volunteer opportunity to develop a service learning experience around. Some good places to look are:

After identifying a volunteer opportunity you will need to:

  1. Approach an instructor and request they serve as your mentor/guide for a service learning project*
  2. Working with your instructor and volunteer supervisor/organization, develop:
    1. A description of what you will be doing as a volunteer
    2. How many hours per week you will be volunteering
    3. A reflective piece (we encourage journaling or blogging)
    4. A further learning piece (readings on the company, field, nonprofits, etc. as appropriate)
    5. Discussions/meetings on a semi-regular basis with your instructor
  3. Enroll in HONR:3150 Honors Service Learning and complete the Honors Service Learning Form

*Your instructor must have faculty status at the University of Iowa. If your instructor is not listed in MyUI email with their name and department and we will notify you when they've been added.​​​

All projects must be approved by the instructor and the Honors Program - we work hard to grant flexibility in formats and depth of various requirements established. See the form for further instructions.

If you see a vision for your service learning experience but aren't sure how to implement it, email Honors Experiential Learning Director for support.