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While an engaged citizenry is often the goal of community service learning, the rights of children to be active agents in this process are largely considered in a separate academic literature. Yet community service learning and children’s participation share much in their goals and approaches to engagement. This paper analyzes a campus-community partnership between undergraduate environmental design and middle school applied science students. The partnership began as a way to promote participatory design processes for the redesign of a middle school and evolved to a proactive co-design program. We describe the goals and approaches to service-learning employed through the partnership, and critique the evolution of the program through the realm of a participation model that has emerged from three decades of children’s participation research. By analyzing a campus-community partnership through this framework, we hope to deepen the discourse on approaches to and evaluation of successful service-learning programs.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
297 kB



  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 9

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022