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This research paper is based upon the contention that service learning programs are best able to contribute to the process of social change if they utilize a critical pedagogy. The paper begins with a review of the current literature with respect to service learning programs in the United States and Canada, and suggests that those programs that utilize a critical analytical approach to service learning prepare students to become active and engaged citizens and agents of social change. An exploratory study of seven Canadian universities engaged in service learning activities--included as part of this study--enhances our understanding of the current panorama in Canada as well as helps to synthesize the findings of both a literature review and the exploratory study. In the end, it is asserted that service learning programs that utilize a critical approach to understanding systemic issues that adversely affect communities are in the best position to educate their students to become effective agents for change.