Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors
- What is Service Learning?
Service Learning is an experiential pedagogy that creates an exciting learning experience for students by integrating community service with academic course work. Students serving at local non-profits and schools help meet real community needs while receiving "real life" experiences related to their course content. Service Learning activities inform, clarify, illustrate and stimulate thoughts about classroom topics, as well as encourage students to develop or strengthen a habit of service and social responsibility to the community.
- What courses can have Service Learning components?
Service Learning can be integrated into most courses. The Academic Senate considers a course to be a Service Learning course if the community service component relates to the academic learning objectives. It should be integrated with the academic content through reflection, and accounts for no less than 15% of the course grade.
- Does observation or data collection count as service learning activities?
There are service learning courses in all four colleges. From first year undergraduates to graduate students, service learning can be integrated into most courses. The Academic Senate considers a course to be a service learning course if the community service component relates to the academic learning objectives of the course, is integrated with the academic content through reflection, and accounts for no less than 15% of the course grade.
- What is the difference between Service Learning and Volunteerism?
While volunteerism is geared toward the advantage of the community, community service learning also requires that the student reflect on and learn from the service being performed. Thus, the student as well as the community receives the "benefits" of the activity (Furco 1996).
- What is the difference between Internships and Service Learning?
While internships, or field placements, tend to focus solely on student learning, community Service Learning emphasizes the advantages to both the student and the recipient of the service activity (Furco 1996). Service Learning focuses on both the service the community needs and the instructor's learning objectives: both the community needs and the student's learning needs are met.
- Why should I incorporate Service Learning into my curriculum?
- Many students learn better through concrete experiences
- Students' stimulation creates livelier classroom discussions
- Student learning is deeper and more well rounded
- There are great opportunities for research and collaboration
- There are many publishing and presenting opportunities
- The Office of Service Learning hosts free workshops and training for service learning faculty
- The Office of Service Learning can provide you with books, articles, sample syllabi and other resources on service learning
- How do I get started?
Contact the Office of Service Learning at 750-4055 and speak with Carol Cujec, Service Learning Faculty Director, (email@example.com) about integrating Service Learning into your course or contact Jill Litschewski, Director of Internships and Service Learning, (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss possible community partners.
- How does a site become a Service Learning partner?
Faculty who would like to request a new Community Partner must submit a New Community Partner Form.
- My Service Learning course does not appear in the Database?
In order for courses to appear in the database, they must have the Service Learning attribute in Peoplesoft. If this was not selected when the course was created, the attribute can be edited after the fact by submitting this Service Learning Designation Request form. Once the form is submitted, the course should appear on the Service Learning and Internship Database within 1-2 business days.