Direct Service

Direct service is about hands-on involvement and taking action to address issues of immediate need or concern in social or ecological communities. Direct service can be one-time only projects, an on-going commitment, working with a group, or working individually. Some organizations are considered “direct service providers,” meaning their mission is to meet people’s immediate needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, or medical care. Direct service encompasses anything from visiting with the elderly in a nursing home to trail maintenance in local parks to packing food. We strongly encourage students to engage in an on-going basis to allow for service work to be most meaningful for you and the community agency.



Service-learning is the integration of meaingful learning, community service, and reflection. Service-learning requires partnership and collaboration between students, community partners, and faculty/staff to address community identified needs while engaging students in hands-on, experiential learning about issues of local concern.

The Carnegie Foundation defines service-learning as “…teaching, learning and scholarship engaging faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address authentic, community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, encourage lifelong civic engagement, enhance community well-being, and enrich the scholarship of the institution.”

"Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities." - Corporation for National and Community Service


Service-Learning Courses

Oregon State University will be developing more service-learning courses in the upcoming months and years. Please check back for updates and also consult with your academic advisor to find out about service-learning courses within your academic programs!

College of Liberal Arts

Internships and Service Learning

Womens Studies Service Learning

WS 405/406- Feminist organizing in New York City and Washington DC


Being an active citizen and engaging in your community and issues important to your community is a key part of civic engagement. Your lifestyle and the personal gestures you make everyday have significant impact on the quality of life in your community and the people and places around you. Daily actions and lifestyles speak to your character and values. Having a community or civic-oriented lifestyle means you consider how your decisions impact the quality of life of those around you in your every day actions.

These are some ways to grow as an engaged community member:

  • Be a good neighbor by getting to know those living around you and how you impact them. If you live off campus, check out the Collaboration Corvallis project and consider getting involved in your local neighborhood association.
  • Register to vote in Corvallis or your hometown. Check out to learn all about registering to vote while you’re a student at Oregon State. Use your voice, use your vote!
  • Connect with other political student organizations.
  • Write a letter for social change related to issues most important to you. Contact your Senators or Legislators.
  • Consider public service or running for public office. Find information about the application process and follow recent alumni currently serving the country through AmeriCorps Teach for America and the Peace Corps, as well as options for serving in ROTC.
  • Attend local community and civic events. Visit the Corvallis All City Events, Activities, and Meetings Calendar.
  • Participate in or join the board of a local non-profit.
  • Work towards living a sustainable life. Try to impact the people and environment that surrounds you as positively as possible. Consider biking or taking public transportation to work/school rather than driving. Work to ensure all people feel welcome, valued, and are able to particpate as fully as possible in your community. To learn more about sustainability initiatives and programming on campus, check out the Student Sustainability InitiativeSustainability website, and/or the Ecologue.
  • Donate blood. Find upcoming blood drives and other ways to help at OSU Blood Drives check out the OSU Blood Drive Association.
  • Newspaper readership is another easy way to be civically engaged and keep up with current events. The New York Times and USA Today focus on college readers and are a great place to start.
  • Philanthropy
  • If you’d like to donate any amount to a charity, foundation or other organization please contact the Center for Civic Engagement.
  • If you have a great idea for a fundraiser or other philanthropic activity, please contact us so we can help and spread the word!
  • Awareness and education
  • The CCE partners with various on and off campus organizations to raise awarness and promote education about issues currently impacting our local community. Visit the CCE in SEC 206 or a community organization to learn about the issues that require student engagement.


Socially-Conscious Shopping

One of the most crucial ways to make a difference is to use your power as a consumer, making your voice heard through your purchasing decisions. If you need to buy products, choosing to buy products from a socially conscious point of view is a great way to participate in civic engagement during your every day routine. Buying fair trade and/or local products reduces or eliminates the need for mass production, causing pollution and unfair working situations, and benefits the artisan directly. By participating in this type of lifestyle, the local economy will grow and more individuals can earn their way out of poverty. Read more about how you can be a socially-conscious shopper.