Distinction in Service Learning

Available beginning with the Class of 2021
Service is an integral aspect of Woodward Academy’s identify and educational experience. The Distinction in Service Learning allows students with a passion for helping others to explore and develop their interest in volunteerism, community engagement, student advocacy, and philanthropy. Students complete related coursework and 160 service learning hours for organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Jesse Draper Boys & Girls Club, College Park Healthcare Senior Center, Love Beyond Walls, and Horizons Atlanta. Graduates with this distinction will develop a social consciousness rooted in empathy, leaving Woodward as critical thinkers and ethical problem solvers who are prepared to take on complex problems facing our communities locally and globally. For their capstone project, students are paired with a mentor to guide them as they design, implement, and create a service learning experience highlighting a local or global disparity, inequity, or need. 

Course options include: Service Learning: Horizons, Service Learning: Terranova, Ethical Dilemmas in Decision Making I & II, Practical Leadership I, Current Issues: Social Media, Journalism I, Digital Entrepreneur, Environmental Science, Debate

Distinction in Service Learning Requirements (A-E)


A. Apply for the program with the Service Learning Coordinator no later than February 1 of 10th grade. New to Woodward 11th grade students must immediately apply to the program upon enrolling to see if meeting all the requirements would be possible to fulfill.

B. Complete at least one of two service learning courses and earn a B or higher average or a pre-approved four-week summer internship with a community partner organization such as Love Beyond Walls or the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  

  1. Service Learning: Horizons
  2. Service Learning: Ethical Global Engagement

C. Complete four semester credits of the following nine courses and achieve a B or higher average in the four courses. (NOTE: Students who enroll in full-year courses will receive 2 credits per course)

  1. Current Issues: Social Media
  2. Debate, Intermediate Debate, Advanced Debate (only two semesters can count towards the four)
  3. Digital Entrepreneur
  4. Environmental Science or AP Environmental Science (up to two semesters can count towards the four)
  5. Ethical Dilemmas and Decision Making 1 and/or 2 
  6. Journalism I
  7. Topics in Multicultural/Ethics, and Diversity Studies

D. Complete 160 service learning hours through WA Serves and the Service Learning program during Upper School career (9th through 12th). Students must engage with at least six (6) of the listed ten (10) organizations in their junior and senior years and cannot earn more than 60 of the 160 hours with any one organization. This list may change yearly as WA Service Projects may change.

  1. Blessings in a Backpack
  2. Canned Food Drive
  3. College Park Healthcare Senior Center
  4. Habitat for Humanity
  5. Horizons Atlanta
  6. Jesse Draper Boys and Girls Club
  7. Love Beyond Walls
  8. Terranova Education
  9. The Main Street Academy Tutoring
  10. WA Grows

E. Capstone Project: Students will be assigned a Service Learning mentor to design, implement, and create a Service Learning experience highlighting one local or global disparity, inequity, or need. Upon completion, senior students will write a reflection paper and create a capstone project that no later than April 1 will be presented to and reviewed by a panel comprised of Service Learning coordinators and faculty sponsors.