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College of Environment and Design

Service Learning

What is service-learning?

Service-learning integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection in order to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen our communities.  CED has been a campus leader in developing service-learning programs that concentrate on issues of environmental sustainability, heritage tourism, outdoor recreation, downtown revitalization, and underserved populations.

Citizens vote for their favorite park elementsOne of our regular service-learning studios is led by Professor Katherine Melcher, who has created the Community Landscape Lab to engage students and community groups using landscape architecture as the means to actuate social change. Through the Community Landscape Lab, Professor Melcher partners students with clients in a Master's level Landscape Architecture (MLA) studio to provide stakeholders with design concepts and engagement strategies useful to the community. Bringing more awareness to the lab's work, students developed a blog to publish information about the projects they are working on, including background information, weekly updates on community feedback, and their design recommendations. 

The students work on their projects for the duration of the semester, giving them the opportunity to see the project through from initial concepts to construction documents and implementation guidelines. As stated in the studio blog, Professor Melcher believes that “by working closely with community groups throughout the design process, students develop practical design projects that can transform everyday landscapes into meaningful and useful places”.

Service-learning intentionally combines service with learning, a combination that is transforming both communities and students.  To date, the Community Landscape Lab has refined a master plan for a historic African American burial site to combat erosion and memorialize those who have passed, envisioned a healing outdoor space for children grieving the loss of a parent, provided concepts for a recreational area in a rural South Carolina community without a single public park, and designed a learning landscape at a historic community center soon to be the headquarters of the Bibb County Cooperative Extension office.

Learn more about the Community Landscape Lab projects here, and visit our Featured Projects page to see additional engagement work.

Service-Learning at CED

CED has several approved service-learning courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 
Go to to explore a course on this list.

Course # Course Name Offered
HIPR 4100S/6100S Cultural Resource Assessment Fall
HIPR 4330S/6330S Intro to Cultural Landscape Documentation Spring
HIPR 4460S/6460S Rural Preservation Fall, Spring 
HIPR 4680S/6680S Community Design Charrettes Fall, Spring 
HIPR 6950S  Historic Preservation Planning Studio Fall
LAND 3030S Landscape Architecture Design Studio III As needed
LAND 3040S Landscape Architecture Design Studio IV As needed
LAND 4050S/6050S Landscape Architecture Design Studio V As needed
LAND 4060S Landscape Architecture Design Studio VI As needed
LAND 4080S Healthcare and Therapeutic Garden Design As needed
LAND 4090S Architecture Design As needed
LAND 4095S Sustainability in Design As needed
LAND 4370S Applied Landscape Construction As needed
LAND 4900S Senior Project As needed
LAND 4910S/6910S Independent Project As needed
LAND 6020S NEW - Site Applications Spring 
LAND 6030S NEW - Nature and Sustainability Fall 
LAND 6040S NEW - Community and Place Spring
LAND 7050S Engagement Studio Fall

UGA Office of Service Learning

The mission of the Office of Service-Learning (OSL) is to promote and support the development of quality academic service-learning experiences in response to critical community needs through a range of faculty and instructional development programs, services, and funding opportunities.

Faculty can find information on applying for S-Suffix courses here.

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