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Service learning traditionally follows a paradigm in which the student acts not only as the service provider, but is also tasked with connecting the experience back to course objectives (Furco 2003, 14). Acting as the service providers puts students in direct contact with the community partners, and oftentimes means that a large amount of communication responsibilities falls to the student. Despite the large amount of leadership responsibilities inherent to the student’s role in the service-learning relationship, the student is the only member of the service-learning relationship that has no formal leadership position. The instructor is in charge in the classroom, and the community partner is in charge at the service site. Students are
informally in charge of conciliating the objectives of both parties; however, they receive no formal leadership role. Most institutions that offer service-learning courses adhere to this traditional model, and therefore most research regarding service learning analyzes this specific model exclusively (Cooper 2002, 29). Thus, the majority of the issues that have been associated with service learning are issues identified by research on the traditional model.