Call for Papers

Submissions are now CLOSED

Deadline for Submissions extended until 16 December 2019

The 8th International Symposium on Service-Learning (ISSL)

Critical Service-Learning Across the Globe: Transforming Teaching into Social Action

University of Nicosia, June 2022*


Transformation has become a central discussion theme in the higher education landscape worldwide. Forecasts reveal that higher education institutions might become virtual entities that compete for survival, which will render face-to-face interaction of the lecture hall redundant.

Out-of-classroom learning spaces will likely become more important as students will learn in their own communities. Service-learning is a transformative pedagogy that emphasizes out of classroom experiences as a learning space, the community as a textbook and where theory becomes practice.

The purpose of the 8th International Symposium on Service-Learning is to focus on transitions in higher education and the role that critical service-learning plays in social transformation. One of the main areas of focus will be on student and faculty delivery of critical service-learning experiences and becoming agents of positive change for their communities and universities. We will learn more about the significant role that service-learning plays in students becoming more engaged and active citizens, faculty teaching in more critical and collaborative ways, and the community growing into living knowledge incubators. These focal points will be threaded throughout a variety of presentation types and formats to allow for meaningful dialogue among academics, community partners, students, and other professionals.

The 8th International Symposium aims to:

  1. Explore the complexities of transitions and transformation within higher education across the world.
  2. Enhance the systemic transformative social impact of critical service-learning in society.
  3. Illuminate and enhance service-learning as an innovative transformative pedagogy for social change.
  4. Strengthen networking between different institutions of higher education and community partners on a global scale.
  5. Proliferate participation in service-learning practice in higher education by developing a community of practice through this conference.


 The 8th International Symposium on Service-Learning (ISSL), continues to build on the momentum generated by past symposia:

▪ The 1st ISSL, Service-Learning Models for the 21st Century: Intercommunity, Interdisciplinary, International was held at Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2005.

▪ The 2nd ISSL, Service-Learning in Higher Education: Paradigms and Challenges, was held in 2007 at the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

▪ The 3rd ISSL, Service-Learning in Higher Education: Educators, Communities, and Students, was held in November 2009 at the University of Indianapolis campus in Athens, Greece.

▪ The 4th ISSL, Service-Learning in Higher Education: Connecting the Global to the Local was held in September 2011 in Ningbo, China.

▪ The 5th ISSL, Service-Learning across the Globe: from Local to Transnational was held in November 2013 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

▪ The 6th ISSL, Service-Learning as a Global Movement: Transforming Communities & Higher Education was held in May 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

▪ The 7th ISSL, Service-Learning as a Response to Global Transitions in Higher Education: Opportunities for Transforming Higher Education and Advancing Social Impact was held in June 2017 in Galway, Ireland.


In our quest to contribute to service-learning as a transformative pedagogy, proposals could cover one of the following:

  1. Emerging theoretical perspectives in higher education and transformation studies from across the globe
  2. Transforming of students to critical citizens
  3. Service-learning conceptual frameworks that enhance transformation
  4. Collaborative curriculum design (with communities)
  5. Collaborative research
  6. International Service-Learning
  7. Inter- multi- and trans-disciplinary transformation initiatives
  8. Societal impact of Service-Learning
  9. Institutional transformation through Service-Learning
  10. Integrating Service-Learning and Multicultural Education in Academia
  11. Service-Learning: New Ethical Goals and Challenges for Universities
  12. Challenges in engaging Service-Learning into higher education


Submissions are being accepted for scholarly presentations in a variety of formats. All submissions should demonstrate a connection to the symposium theme. Presentations that relate to service-learning research and practice at an international, national, or local level and comparative work are encouraged.

This form of presentation is theoretically grounded in published theory or by introducing new theoretical insights. The presentation may also introduce a framework, model or theory that was developed through the research. The abstract should include a research question or topic, the rationale for the research, the methodology, preliminary findings (if not published research) and the expected outcomes for service-learning. For this format 30 minutes will be given to present including discussion time.

In a workshop, presenters showcase a particular research topic (or practice) through which best practices or new knowledge were developed. This form of presentation aims to build the audience’s capacity on the diverse areas of service-learning through ample discussion and interactive activities. It could also take the form of an institution presenting the progress they have made in practicing service-learning on an institutional level, highlighting how they enhance citizenship of students and staff. The proposal for this format should include all planned presentations and activities. The learning outcomes for participants must be clearly articulated. Workshops will be 60 minutes in length.

This medium may be used to demonstrate best practice, a new model or framework. It could also convey a specific way of doing and teaching service-learning through which others can learn. This medium is also conducive to outlining quantitative research or can be used to market learning opportunities at their institution for delegates post the symposium.

This is a medium through which best practice can be shared of service-learning as a teaching and learning approach. These ‘stories’ will be clustered in 15 minute inputs by participants and a general discussion on new insights on practice. The presentation should consist of a context, outlining the practice and demonstrating the gain of using this practice to the audience.

In this form of presentation submissions with the same theme will be clustered in 10 minute inputs around a table where everyone shares their perspectives on best practice of the topic. The presentation should consist of a context, outlining the practice and demonstrating the gain of using this practice to the audience. A facilitator will convene the discussion where reciprocal learning can take place.


 Proposal submissions of 350 words, to be submitted according to the format indicated on this call for papers.

The deadline for submissions is December 16th 2019. Proposals are limited to two submissions per presenter.

To submit your proposal:

Complete the Abstract Submission Form available as a separate document in MS Word format and use title “ISSL 2020 proposal (last name)” to save the abstract submission..

E-mail the abstract to: [email protected]

Marianna Foulkrod
Executive Director, Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement
Co-Chair, 2020 International Symposium on Service-Learning

If you have any questions about the submission process please contact Marianna Foulkrod directly via e-mail or phone number at 317-788-3557.


The Symposium program will become available later.


Registration may be completed online at

  1. Early Bird Registration:  from January 1st 2020 to February 28th 2020,  315 (presenters must register before the early bird expires to be included in the program)
  2. Regular Registration: from March 1st 2020 to April 30th 2020,  350
  3. Student Registration:  150

Symposium Co-Chair:

Constantinos Phellas
Professor, Vice Rector for Faculty and Research, University of Nicosia, Chair, 2020 International Symposium on Service-Learning

Symposium Co-Chairs by Institution:

Marianna Foulkrod
Director, Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement Co-Chair, 2020 International Symposium on Service-Learning

Jacob du Plessis Department of Sociology & Social Anthropology at SU, Co-Chair, 2020 International Symposium on Service Learning
ISSL 2020 Planning Committee Members by Institution:
University of Indianapolis
Mary Moore Associate Provost Accred, Assessment, & Ed Innovations
Office of Accreditation
Jodie Ferise Assoc Provost Intl. Engagement & Chief Intl. Officer
Center for Global Engagement
Jennifer VanSickle Professor, Kinesiology
UIndy Distinguished Faculty of Service-Learning
Julie Gahimer Professor, Krannert School of Physical Therapy
Lisa Borrero Associate Professor
Interprofessional Health and Aging Studies
Stellenbosch University
Ernestine Meyer-Adams Director, Social Impact
Van Rooi, Leslie Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation
Indiana Campus Compact
J.R. Jamison Director, Indiana Campus Compact
Laura Weaver Director of Programs and Member Development
University of Nicosia
Constantinos Phellas Professor, Vice Rector for Faculty and Research
Nicolas Ioannides Director of Academic Affairs
Yianna Orphanidou Associate Head of Department, School of Business, Department of Hospitality
Christos Panagiotopoulos Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences,

Department of Social Sciences

Myrtani Pieri Assistant Professor, School of Sciences and Engineering,

Department of Life and Health Sciences

Galina Y. Constantinides Senior Admissions Counsellor, Department of Admissions

Organized and hosted by

University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

Co-sponsored by

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa &

University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Supported by

Indiana Campus Compact, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

*This call previously featured the dates June 9 – 12, 2020. The Planning Committee rescheduled the upcoming 8th International Symposium on Service-Learning (ISSL) to June, 2022. More information on registration and refunds, please see the Rescheduling Announcement here.