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College students will face a workplace transformed even from the one that existed five years ago. Public and private organizations presently require employees to possess highly developed core competencies. This shift in expectations, exacerbated by high unemployment among recent college graduates, has made accountability a hot issue for higher education. Colleges have begun to integrate experiential approaches into the curriculum to impart work competencies. Internships, the classic form of experiential education, cannot develop all the required skills and knowledge, especially if students do not take part in a reflection activity. Service-learning, a more recent approach to experiential education, is high impact because it links community service to academic goals and facilitates application and testing of academics in a new professional situation. The author discusses how the intrinsic characteristics of service-learning facilitate the acquisition of workplace competencies by exploring its application in two community college paralegal courses.



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