Community-Based Learning

At Elizabethtown College, we take our motto “Educate for Service” seriously. We believe that education is put to its best use when used for the benefit of others. As a part of our signature learning experiences, our students engage in service projects in communities locally and beyond, both as a part of the academic curriculum, and as extracurricular opportunities.

Community Service as a State of Mind

Into the Streets is a program designed to introduce more students to thoughtful community service and to provide a learning experience that will challenge them to volunteer on a regular basis. Into the Streets is about training large numbers of student leaders, forging powerful coalitions between diverse campus, community, and national organizations, and fostering a new purpose and insight in the college community service movement.

Our community-based learning comes alive every day at E-town College. One hallmark program is Moving Forward Together (MFT), a mentoring outreach program that recruits first-year students and pairs them with high school mentees. The partners remain mentor/mentee for four years—an entire college career for the majority of our students.

E-town College also offers extensive year-round opportunities including service work-studies, service days, and service-themed trips both domestically and internationally.

Community Service and Academic Integration

Our faculty on campus know that they are training the leaders of tomorrow. With an eye on educating service-minded leaders, many departments across campus have ingrained service-learning components into their curriculum. Below are just a few of the many ways students can expect to see community-based learning:


As a part of the senior capstone, students in the Department of Communications are required to partner with a local community organization and complete a communication plan and audit.

Modern Languages:

Spanish Service-Learning students apply their linguistic and cultural skills as they provide valuable services for community partners while learning from them in a mutually beneficial relationship. 


The E-town College chapter of Enactus (formerly known as SIFE) has achieved national recognition and emphasizes projects targeting senior citizens and other disadvantaged groups. Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

Social Work:

Prior to the senior field placement, social work students complete a total of 45 hours of service learning in an urban environment. Sites vary and include elementary schools, low-income housing for the elderly, a parenting program in Harrisburg, and working with juvenile delinquents in Lancaster.