Oakes Service Learning Program

Each Oakes service learning course combines classroom study and analysis with real community work: students, faculty, and community partners develop agreements to work on projects together, and in the process work on understanding, accepting, and celebrating human diversity, and expanding our potential to create justice. The program gives Oakes students the opportunity to learn about their home on campus and in the Santa Cruz region through community and civic involvement, and to improve their communication, research, and advocacy skills.

What is service learning?

When courses include “service learning,” or “community-engaged learning,” it means that part of the course provides students with university-level tools and support (background information, documentation techniques, frames of analysis, discussion and guidance) relevant to their paths of study, while part of the course involves community-based practice or research.  The Oakes Service Learning Program is organized around courses and community engagement that advance understanding and skills in social justice. 


History clipart

History of the Oakes Service Learning Program

The Oakes Service Learning Program, launched in 2012-13, strives to fulfill the Oakes College mission to promote positive social and political change, and builds on some of our college’s proudest legacies.

All Courses

All courses in this program satisfy the PR-S General Education requirement. Enrollment priority varies by course. Some are by application only; some give priority to Oakes students. Please review the course listing and contact instructors for more information.


Community-based Action Research and Advocacy (CARA) Certificate Program

Oakes students may earn a certificate in service-learning and social justice by registering their service learning and other social justice and field methods courses with the CARA Program (Community-based Action Research & Advocacy). Photo credit: Kua Vang


Corre la Voz

Oakes is proud to co-sponsor a UC Links project that connects faculty and undergraduate mentor-researchers with a local learning community of dual language elementary students. Corre la Voz is dedicated to developing innovative curriculum design and team-teaching approaches to foster holistic, engaged learning.  We work to strengthen cultural awareness, bilingualism, and multi-literacies through a rich learning program revolving around creative digital projects (fiction and documentary). Click here for more information, or email clvlinksucsc@gmail.com.


Our Network

Please browse these great local organizations, whether you are looking for a current placement in a course, or are interested in volunteering on your own.


Get Involved

There are lots of ways to get involved at Oakes, on campus, or in the community, even if you can’t take a service-learning course at the moment.  And your extra-curricular or volunteer work may later turn into your field research or a placement - you never know!

Opportunities at Oakes / Opportunities on Campus / Opportunities in the Community / UCSC Volunteer Center

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