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APPLES Service-Learning is a student-led program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that transforms educational experiences by connecting academic learning and public service. Since 1990, APPLES has strengthened civic engagement by bringing together students, faculty and communities in sustained and mutually beneficial partnerships.

APPLES offers a variety of programs, including alternative breaks, service-learning initiative, internships, courses and fellowships.

Frank Porter Graham Student Union
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Suite 3514
Campus Box #5210
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-5210

(919) 962-0902
(919) 843-9685 (fax)

APPLES Service-learning History

Founded in 1990 by a group of undergraduate students seeking to extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom, the APPLES Service-Learning program began by supporting faculty in understanding and using service-learning pedagogy. As APPLES opportunities have expanded over the years, the primary purpose continues to be to enhance and deepen learning through meaningful collaborations with community organizations among the growing list of programs.

Funded by student fees, APPLES is a student organization with permanent staff available for administrative and programming responsibilities. In 2009, APPLES became a program of the Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS). This collaboration and structure has strengthened the organization as it offers more resources and support for faculty, students and community partners.

APPLES is committed to sustainable and collaborative partnerships, both within and outside of the university. Together with staff, student organizers build upon the contributions, lessons and approaches from previous years. APPLES seeks to integrate reflection, an essential aspect of service-learning, into each participant experience. Through these core values, APPLES aims to enhance the undergraduate education of both student organizers and participants.

The original acronym of APPLES stands for “Assisting People in Planning Learning Experiences in Service.” In recent years, the organization is often referred to as APPLES and uses the tagline “connecting academics and service.”

APPLES celebrates 30 years in 2020. Email APPLES to learn more about our anniversary celebrations.

More about Service-Learning

Service-learning offers opportunities for learning to extend beyond the walls of the classroom. By combining educational goals with relevant community service, APPLES programs deepen learning and provide meaningful service to communities. These service-learning programs engage and partner with community organizations, whether local, regional or global. Opportunities to serve in the community are identified by community organizations and are selected to pair with specific academic courses or educational experiences. Service-learning experiences offer intentional and guided reflection as a way to deepen the learning and contributions to the community.

Service-learning has grown out of the experiential education movement and is an active learning strategy associated with various positive outcomes. It offers an opportunity to be challenged in new ways to engage with communities, confront social issues and to deepen and apply knowledge.