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Emergency management students must be prepared to enter the evolving and challenging work environment with practical and theoretical knowledge. Yet, linking the two forms of knowledge in a meaningful way remains an educational challenge. One pedagogical approach gaining popularity in the emergency management discipline is service learning.

University of Central Florida graduate students in the Managing Emergencies and Crises course are collaborating for the first time with the university’s Office of Emergency Management on six service-learning projects. The six projects are: (1) Develop an evacuation plan for the main campus; (2) Develop an evacuation and housing plan for resident students living on campus; (3) Research various types of technology used in Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) in institutions of higher education; (4) Research the placement of an Office of Emergency Management in an institution of higher education organizational chart; (5) Develop measurable objectives and a pre/post test to measure the impact of public outreach for active shooter awareness educational program; and (6) Research emergency notification systems at institutions of higher education.

This presentation will briefly review national trends in using service learning in the emergency management discipline, highlight the final products of this semester’s service-learning projects, and conclude with lessons learned from the student, professor, and client perspectives.