-learning is known by many, widely varying definitions which take into consideration the reciprocal needs of the student and community, bridging academic theory with community service and instilling civic responsibility. Service combined with learning adds value to each and transforms both. Service-learning must be an academic activity: it can be course-based, competency-based, or a structured volunteer experience. In dental education the most obvious community locations are community health center dental clinics, hospital dental clinics, and private offices in areas designated as dental health professions shortage areas (DHPSA). Most importantly, service-learning occurs only when both the providers and the recipients of the service benefit from the activities.
Although service-learning is now a major national movement, it is still catching on as a new approach in education. Kim Isringhausen will provide a framework for service-learning in dental and dental hygiene education in which planning, implementation and evaluation can be built.