Public Affairs, The California State University

CSU Receives $500K for Study on Impact of STEM Service-Learning

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Grant to fund inaugural statewide study on impact of service-learning in
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

The California State University has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation that will fund a study on the impact of service-learning courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Service-learning combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. The practice has a strong correlation to student success in most academic disciplines, but there is a lack of research on its impact in STEM. In partnership with the California Campus Compact, a statewide service-learning organization, the CSU’s Center for Community Engagement will investigate the practice’s impact on student success in STEM fields.

The research—funded over 18 months—will evaluate students’ success through measures including academic achievement, career development and civic engagement.

“Service-learning has been a hallmark of the CSU for more than 15 years, and funding from the Keck Foundation will enable the CSU to lead the first research study of its kind on the quality of STEM service-learning courses and its influence on student success,” said CSU Center for Community Engagement Director Judy Botelho. “The study will also enhance the CSU’s efforts to support the development of engaging hands-on learning experiences where students can apply STEM course material in a real-world setting.”

The CSU is committed to equipping California’s students with 21st century skills for tomorrow’s workforce needs. Students enrolled in STEM service-learning courses acquire technical skills, increase career awareness and understand how science relates to the world around them. The CSU has undertaken active steps to further STEM engaged learning and this study will complement existing efforts across the system.


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 447,000 students and 45,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards more than 100,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.9 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media. Show how the CSU matters to you and take action.

About the W.M. Keck Foundation
Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company.  The Foundations grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering and undergraduate education.  The Foundation also maintains a Southern California Grant Program that provides support for the Los Angeles community, with a special emphasis on children and youth.  For more information, please visit