Preparing Your Course for Service Learning

“I read Spanish picture books to little children. It was such an honor to participate and actually feel like I made a kid smile. The experience makes me want to participate more in the community and try harder to make more of a difference.”

— Student

What are the components for service learning?

  • Determine the objectives, concepts and skills that have application to experience-based learning.
  • Identify and connect Essential Learning Outcomes (See Appendix).
  • Determine a project that meets the objectives identified and incorporates a community service to be performed.
  • Find a community partner or partners that will provide mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Determine an agreed upon method for implementing the project with the community partner.
  • Utilize risk-management resources depending on the nature of the partnership. These include
    1. Partnership Agreement
    2. Student-Faculty Agreement
    3. Field Trip Form
    4. Model Consent
    5. Please contact the Office of Experiential Learning to implement these documents. (See Appendix)
  • Determine how students will demonstrate learning and reflection from their service experience.
  • Prepare a description of the service-learning component in your course syllabus.
  • Designate your course as an Experiential Learning course by contacting Director of the Office of Experiential Learning.
  • Build anticipation in the classroom with preplanning through orientations and teambuilding.
  • Build mutual trust and understanding with the community partner throughout the course of the project.
  • Showcase the project through photos, press releases, and other media sources with the assistance of the Office of Experiential Learning.
  • Provide students with award opportunities available through the Office of Experiential Learning.
  • Include a plan for assessing student outcomes of experiential learning using the campus-wide experiential learning survey.
  • Measure the effectiveness of the project and its impact on the community through partnership and faculty surveys.