This paper focuses on a for-credit cemetery recording class taught at Indian River State College (IRSC) and on the impact of the project on student perceptions of cultural heritage and historic preservation. One of the goals in creating this service learning course was to promote student awareness of the destructive risks that many historic cemeteries face and to impart the importance of stewardship over the archaeological record. To assess the effectiveness of the course in meeting this goal, a series of five interviews with students enrolled in the class were conducted to get participants to discuss their motivations and perceptions of the class and to expound on its impact.
The results of this study suggest that engagement in service learning can have a positive impact on student perceptions of archaeology and heritage preservation, an auspicious conclusion that supports the further integration of such opportunities in higher education. Cemetery recording projects that are integrated into the college curriculum offer an opportunity to preserve the cultural information associated with these sites and build awareness about their historical importance, all while training students in transferable skills that are demanded of 21st century professionals.