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For Students

We are so excited that you are taking a service learning course! Every student taking a service learning course must be placed with a community partner (service learning site) to complete their service learning hours.

You might be completing service learning because it is a requirement of the course, optional for the course, or it is for extra credit. The expected service learning hours to be completed by the students is determined by the course instructor. Some instructors have existing partnerships with a community partner for you to complete service learning hours. Others ask students to find their own placements to complete their service learning hours. 

California State University uses a database (called "S4") to host service learning opportunities and document students' placements with community partners (service learning sites) for service learning. All community partners our students work with must be active in the database and all students must be placed in the database for the purposes of risk management, liability, and record keeping.   

Getting Started With Service Learning 

Below is an overview of the steps involved in getting set up with service learning as part of your course. Details for each step is provided below.  

Step 1

Search the S4 Database to find a site (community partner) to complete your service learning hours. 

Your instructor may have preselected sites in the database for the course and/or have their own service learning arrangements with the site (community partners). 

Click here to Login to the S4 Database

Review Strategies to Effectively Search for Sites (Community Partners) in the S4 Database 

Step 2

Email or call the site to express your interest in completing your service learning hours with them and get a confirmation about the availability of the service learning opportunities. If they are not responsive in 3 days, reach out to other sites.  

If your instructor have their own service learning arrangements with the site (community partner), you may not need to reach out to the site for the avaibility of service learning opportunities.


Use this Script when Reaching out to Sites

Step 3

Place yourself in the S4 Database with the site (community partner). Place yourself only after you receive a confirmation from the site that you can complete your service learning hours with them AND after fullfilling the site requirements (e.g. background check), if any. 

Make sure a service learning opportunity is listed under the site in the database.  

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

Follow the Instructions for How to Place Yourself in the Database

Step 4

Start working with your service learning site and complete your service learning hours. 

Your course instructor will provide information on when you may begin your service learning, what your service related assignments/projects are, how they want you to prove that you met your required hours, and the deadline for when you need to complete your hours. 

Service Learning Office does not (a) track your service learning hours, (b) need confirmation from the site that you completed your service learning hours, and (c) need confirmation from the course instructor. 

Looking for more information? 

Review our Service Learning Student Handbook and and FAQs pages. Check out our Student Resources for additional resources you may or may not need.  

Come to the Service Learning Office Information Sessions: