Your  Account:

For Faculty

Our goal is to increase the number of service learning courses on campus and support faculty in designing and implementing effective service learning courses, identifying and assessing students' learning outcomes, and conducting research around their service learning course and publishing scholarly work. 

We provide: 

  • One-on-one consultation for curriculum, assessment/evaluation, and research design as well as for strategies on how to find, build, and sustain community partners, and issues of sustainability and scalibility of your service learning course. You can schedule the consultation meetings as many times as you like through out the year.  
  • A variety of opportunities for you to connect with community partners through events and our social network.
  • Focused planning and development time through the Faculty Champions of Service Learning meetings and the Summer Service Learning Institute 
  • Classroom presentations about service learning placements and database at the beginning of each semester.  

Request for Consultation Request for Classroom Presentation

Why incorporate service learning into your course? 

Service Learning is a high impact pedagogical practice 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. 

  • Benefits to Students
    • Students learn better through real world experiences
    • Students see themselves as agents of change 
    • Students actively participate in classroom discussions drawing from their experiences
    • Students' learning is deeper and more well rounded
    • Opportunities to make a positive impact in the community
  • Benefits to Faculty
    • Opportunities to align teaching, research/creative activities, and service
    • Opportunities for community-engaged research
    • Opportunities for publishing papers and presenting at conferences
    • Opportunities to make a positive impact in the community 

How do I get started? 

We are so glad you asked! We recommend you schedule a one on one consultation with the Faculty Director of Service learning (click the blue botton above) and review our Service Learning Faculty Handbook. Check out our FAQs page

What are my responsibilities as a Faculty teaching a service learning course? 

Teaching a service learning course is a collaborative effort between faculty, the service learning team, and the community partners. Because we are limited by the length of a semester, we need to plan ahead and work efficiently to ensure all students are successful and the needs of our community partners are met and faculty has a great time teaching a service learning course. Below, are the list of tasks that must be attended to by the faculty for a smooth and successful service learning course.  

Before the Beginning of Semester 

  • Make sure Your Course is Designated as a Service Learning Course

    Designating Your Course as Service Learning in PeopleSoft

    Make sure your course is designated as a service learning course in PeopleSoft as service learning "required," "optional," or "extra credit". If your course is not designated as a service learning course, fill out the Service Learning Designation Form. The service learning database (S4) that we use pulls course information from PeopleSoft to generate a copy of your course and class roaster in the S4 database. Our office will contact the Academic Scheduling to designate your course as service learning with one of three types of service learning designation. PeopleSoft does not keep a permenant record of courses, and therefore, you need to check PeopleSoft every semester and make sure your course is designated as service learning as required, optional, or extra credit. 

    Complete the Community Engaged Learning Tool (CELT) Survey      

    If you are teaching a new service learning course OR it has been three years since the course was taught as a service learning course, you also need to complete CSU Community-Engaged Tool (CELT), a form designed for CSU faculty to identify where a course falls along the spectrum of Community Engaged Learning. Filling out the CELT every three years for a course is a mandate from the Chancellor's Office. It allows the Chancellor's Office to track the number of service learning course across the CSUs and it allows Service Learning Office at CSUSM to be able to annually report to the Chancellor's Office the number of service learning courses we sustain over time and new service learning course offerings each year, and whether we are meeting the targeted goals for the CSUS Strategic Planning for Service Learning.

    For each course, CELT needs to be completed once every 3 years as long as you are not making significant changes in your approach to Service Learning. You can skip this step IF you have completed this survey within 3 years. 

    Designate Your Course as Service Learning Now 

  • Login to the Service Learning Database (S4)

    CSUSM uses the Cal Sate S4, the service learning database designed by the Chancellor's Office to place students and track service lerning courses. 

    (1) Please make sure you can see your course and course roster in the S4 database. If you don't see your course, please fill out the Service Learning Designation Form. 

    (2) Please search the service learning database AND select community partners for your course. You can develop a "suggested" list or "limit" students' placement to the list of community partners you selected. We can better support when we know which community partner is better suited for your students   

    (3) Upload your syllabus in S4. This will allow service learning to better support you and your students. We can review your syllabus and proactively identify community partners that are good fit for your students. We enter the correct number of hours of service learning that are expected your students to complete, when your students reach out to us for help. 

    Login to the Service Learning Database Review S4 Faculty User Guide

  • Request a New Community Partner (if needed)

    If the community partner you are collaborating with and/or want your students to complete their service learning hours with for your course is not listed in the S4 database, you can request a new community partner be added to the database. 

    Please identify new community partners at least a month before the semester so that we have ample time to do the paperwork to add them to the S4 database. Make sure to contact the community partner and confirm that they are willing to work with you and have your students complete their service learning hours with them. As such, identify a site contact person you will be in regular communication with so that the process of adding them to the database and service learning experience for your student are seamless.   

    Process for Adding a New Partner

    1. If you would like to request a new Community Partner, please contact us at
    2. We will send the community partner a link to complete a Request to Initiate Partnership application. The link to the application must be sent by the service learning team. Faculty and students cannot be involved in this process.  
    3. Once we have obtained all necessary documentation, the program site will be uploaded to the service learning database (S4). At this point, students will be able to make their placement and start their service learning hours at that site.
  • Clearly Identify the Service Learning Component in Your Course

    Prepare Your Syllabus: It is crucial that you have a section on service learning in your syllabus that clearly explains the scope of service learning, number of service learning hours, assignment(s) in the course that is tied to service learning, and mechanism you will use to track students' service learning hours and assess their learning and engagement.

    The scope of service learning should identify the population you want your students to work with, the age range of the population, the context/setting of service learning (campus, schools, afterschool, health centers, etc.).  

    Provide Information about the Service Learning Database (S4): Include information about the service learning database (S4) and its function in the university for service learning, and provide a link to the database in your syllabus and course container.  

    Review the service learning component and all the relevant information during the first week of class in detail. 

  • Request a Classroom Presentation (if needed)
    If you would like us to do a classroom presentation, please reach out at least one week before the classes start. This will allow ample time to plan for the classroom presentation and schedule them. 

Throughout the Semester

  • Share the Information about Community Partners Fair with your students
    We hold Service Learning Community Partner Fair during the third week of each semester (Fall and Spring) where our community partners come to our campus to share information about their sites and recruit service learning students. Please share the news about the service learning community partner fair when you receive the information from the service learning team.  
  • Reach out to Service Learning in a timely manner

    Please reach out to Service Learning office when issues with students and/or community partners arise. 

  • Remind students to place themselves in the database

    It is important that students place themselves in the service learning database for compliance, liability, and data collection purposes. Check the percentage of students placed themselves in the database for your course and send regular reminders for them to complete their placements. 

Please make sure to read our Service Learning Faculty Handbook that has all the details and up to date information about everything you need to know about service learning. Also, check out our FAQs page

Upcoming Events