The Service-Learning program strives to be as helpful as possible in helping students navigate the process of service-learning. To do this, we take the following steps:
1. Initial Presentation-A member of the Service-Learning program will visit each class to provide an overview of service-learning, hand out paperwork, and share expectations. At this visit students will receive a list of partners that have been approved for their course as well as their contract and other resource information.
2. Service-Learning Fair-All students participating in service-learning who have a choice of community partner are invited to attend the service-learning fair. This fair occurs approximately the second week of the semester and allows students the opportunity to meet with and hear from the partners with whom they can work. After meeting with partners and selecting their top three choices, students should complete their contract and turn it in at the fair. Students unable to attend the fair should contact the Service-Learning program for additional guidance.
3. Site Partnerships-Students will be informed of their approved site partnership the same evening as the fair. While we will make every attempt to partner students with their first choice, the Service-Learning program must consider a variety of factors including schedule availability, transportation, and partner preference and availability. No spots will be held for students who do not turn in their contracts by the end of the fair and we cannot guarantee that the remaining sites will fit the scheduling and transportation needs of the student.
4. Orientation and Paperwork-Once students have received a confirmed site partnership, they should schedule their orientation with their partner organization. Some sites will schedule large group orientations ahead of time while others will provide an individual orientation. Students should check the information given during the orientation to determine which option applies to their site. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule their orientation within one week of partnering with their site. Students may be asked to complete additional volunteer paperwork and a background check before they begin at their site. Some background checks may require an additional fee. Students with concerns about this fee should contact the Service-Learning Coordinator.
5. Getting Started-Once students have scheduled and attended their orientation, they should work with their site supervisor to determine a schedule for the semester. Schedules can be set up in any way that is mutually beneficial for the partner and the student. We recommend that students schedule their service in advance at consistent times, spend approximately 2-3.5 hours per visit, and serve consistently over the course of the entire semester.
6. Recording Hours-To receive credit for the hours that students are working at their site, they must report hours to the service-learning program (or in some cases to their faculty member). This is typically done through posts in canvas and students should check with their academic coordinator to determine the exact process for their course. Please note that most sites will also ask students to track their hours with the site. These hours are used to verify the hour's students report to service-learning and should be done separately per the instructions of the community partner.
7. Reflection-Reflection is an essential component of the service-learning experience and helps to ensure that connections between classroom and community work are being made. We encourage you to check with you faculty member or service-learning coordinator to learn more about how reflection will be implemented in your course.
8. Ending the Semester-Students are done with their service-learning project after they have met the minimum requirement for their course as well as the minimum guidelines set forth by their community partner. The service-learning program will share a completed community partner evaluation with the student once it is received. Any concerns or discrepancies on this evaluation should be followed up on with the community partner.
Learning Goal 1: Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills gained from this course (and possibly previous courses) through their service-learning projects.
Learning Goal 2: Students will demonstrate specific ways (including written reflection) in which the service-learning project deepens their understanding of the knowledge and skills gained through traditional course work.