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For Students

Important Announcement

Due to current COVID-19 Federal, State and County restrictions, we strongly recommend that students search for and chose virtual service learning opportunities, when at all possible. If an in-person service learning opportunity is necessary to complete required hours, CSUSM students may participate in service learning activities in the State of California provided the student and the organization follow current Federal, State, and County public health guidelines effective May 19, 2020. Organizations will be required to submit evidence they are in compliance with public health guidelines.  If you are interested in participating in an on-site service learning opportunity outside the State of California, contact the Department of Service Learning. Please contact your faculty or the Department of Service Learning if you have questions.

What is Service Learning & How to make a Service Learning Placement

Watch: Introduction to Service Learning Video 

  • Step 1: What is Service Learning

    Service Learning is a learning tool that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are substantively related to course content.

    Through reflective activities, students enhance their understanding of course content, general knowledge, sense of civic responsibility, self-awareness and commitment to the community.  

  • Step 2: Enroll in a Service Learning Course

    Service Learning is a learning tool that is incorporated into course content. 

    To find out if your course has a Service Learning component or to enroll in a Service Learning course please see the CSUSM Course Catalog. 

  • Step 3: Review Course Objectives

    Upon the start of the course, your instructor will provide you with a syllabus and details for your Service Learning assignment. 

    Each course will have unique guidelines for the number of hours, service learning sites and duties you may participate in.  

    All Service Learning sites must be approved by your course instructor. 

  • Step 4: Apply for a Service Learning placement

    After consulting with your course instructor regarding approved sites, begin applying to course appropriate sites. To view virtual opportunities, use the "remote" tag in the opportunities section.

    Review the Service Learning Introductory Script/Guide for tips on contacting sites. 

    Please Note:  Students must select a Service Learning site from the database. Only instructors are allowed to submit a Request for a New Community Partner. All Service Learning sites must be approved by your course instructor. 

  • Step 5: Service Learning placement and required forms.

     Once you have accepted your Service Learning opportunity AND obtained instructor approval, you may create your service learning placement and begin your required compliance forms. 

    For step by step instructions please view: Placement Instruction Presentation PDF.

    • A copy of your placement will be automatically sent to the site supervisor email you provide in the form. 

  • Step 6: Beginning your Service Learning

    Before attending the first day of your service learning, check in with your course instructor. 

    Your service learning course instructor will provide course service learning information such as when you may begin your service learning, assignments/projects, timekeeping information, and other important information.

    Make sure to check in frequently with your service learning course and service learning site supervisor for updates and details regarding your service learning. 


For more information, see the student frequently asked questions