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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Service Learning?

  • What is Service Learning?

    Service Learning brings to life the subject matter of a course by involving students in some "real world" activity directly related to what is being learned. Several courses at CSUSM include Service Learning as part of the learning process; in fact, this is becoming a popular way to learn at many colleges and universities.
  • How is Service Learning different from volunteerism, or internships and field education?

    While volunteerism is geared toward the advantage of the community, Service Learning also requires that the student reflect on and learn from the service being performed. The student, as well as the community, will receive the "benefits" from the activity. While internships or field placements tend to focus solely on student learning. Service Learning focuses on both the service the community needs and the instructor's learning objectives. Both the communities needs and the student's learning needs will be met.


Finding a Virtual Service Learning Opportunity


Finding a Service Learning Site


Course Requirements


Additional Questions

  • Is the site I interview with obligated to accept me?

    No. Your interview is like a job interview! Several factors play a role in a good match: course goals and objectives, schedules, position availability, the agency's needs, the skills and learning interests you bring, etc.

    If you need assistance with a resume, cover letter, or other essentials to landing your Service Learning opportunity please contact the Career Center.

  • What do I do if I have not heard back from my Service Learning site?

    If you have not heard back from the sites that you have reached out to please consult with your instructor for a list of additional recommended sites.

  • What if my Service Learning site no longer works with my schedule?

    Speak with your site supervisor immediately. If there is a problem please discuss the matter with the organizations volunteer coordinator to see if you can explore other available opportunities at that organization.

    If the problem persists, first talk with your instructor and then with the Office of Service Learning for help with a change of settings.

  • Can I perform Service Learning hours at my place of employment?

    Service Learning needs to address an important community need and contribute to achieving your course objectives. Job assignments may not be compatible with course learning needs.

    Performing service at another agency offers the opportunity to expose you to new situations and experiences.

    Overall, we strongly encourage you to serve at another agency.

  • What do I do if I have limited transportation?

    If you have limited transportation, there are several on campus sites that may fit your course.

    Use the keyword: "CSUSM" when searching the database. 

  • I do not live in San Marcos, can I do my Service Learning elsewhere?

    If you do not live in San Marcos use the search bar in our database to search by the city you are located in.

    If you find a site in your city that you wish to complete your hours at but it is not in our database please contact your instructor.


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