Developing Leadership Through “Serviceship”: Leveraging the Intersection Between Service-Learning and Professional Internship

Considering the role of higher education in preparing the next generation of leaders for social change, leadership education is challenged to consider how best to prepare young adults for socially responsible leadership. Service-learning and professional internships, separately, have been identified as vehicles for preparing young adults for leadership roles. The purpose of this Application Brief is to describe a hybrid of service-learning and professional internships, called “Serviceship,” which employs undergraduate students as interns for a community rather than a company. Now in its fifth year at a Midwestern, four-year land-grant institution, the “Serviceship” program has placed 21 interns in 11 rural communities. Utilizing an asset-based community development framework, undergraduate students are matched with rural communities whose local leaders have self-identified a community development project.