Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Del Favero, Marietta;

Second Advisor

Perry, Andre

Third Advisor

Paradise, Louis V.


The purpose of this study was to explore college students' intellectual development through their service-learning experience. This study also took into consideration the characteristics of student groups and the way in which they transformed intellectually through their service-learning experience. To examine these questions, twelve upper-division college students who had completed a service-learning course were interviewed, in order to capture the dynamics of their service-learning experiences, their perceptions of their intellectual development, and their values and priorities as college students in detail. From the interviews, five major themes related to college students' intellectual development emerged. Three of the themes focused on the interpersonal capacities and complexities of intellectual development, and two were related to the complexity and challenges of unstructured problems related to service-learning and college students' intellectual growth. In addition, by analyzing the themes and the characteristics of student groups together, I coined new terms to capture the intellectual transformation of modern-day college students who participate in service-learning. The findings of this study will add to the understanding of college students' intellectual development through service-learning, as well as how students transformed through the experience, and provide opportunities for future research to investigate specific groups of college students in this and other collegiate settings.


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