Beyond Service Toward Human Liberation: Social Relatedness and Transformative Leadership Through Academically-Based Community Service

  • Gretchen E. L. Suess


The purpose of this chapter is to share findings from an evaluative research project on the important contributions of Academically-Based Community Service (ABCS) courses to nurture students’ aptitudes in social relatedness and transformative leadership. Using data from completed post-semester student surveys, focus groups with ABCS students and teaching assistants, and ABCS course enrollment data at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), the author examines the promise of ABCS courses to equip college students with the skills and experience needed to more broadly contribute to positive social transformation. The findings support the need for continuous engagement and critical reflection, whereby students can expand their service orientation across contexts, develop transformative leadership skills, and complex problem-solving capacities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gretchen E. L. Suess
    • 1
  1. 1.Netter Center for Community Partnerships/Department of AnthropologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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