Barbara Jacoby defines service-learning as "a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning."
Service-Learning is one program located in the office of Experiential Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE). ELCE supports programs that empower CSB/SJU students to integrate and apply knowledge and theory gained in the classroom setting to a hands on learning environment, such that a deeper understanding is gained and demonstrated through clear learning outcomes.
As part of the common curriculum, all students are required to complete a course with an experiential learning designation. Service-Learning is one way to earn this designation. If you have questions about this designation or how it fits into your academic plan, we encourage you to contact academic advising.
The Service-Learning program strives to be as helpful as possible in helping students navigate the process of service-learning.
The Service-Learning program recognizes community partners as co-educators in the service-learning experience.
Occasionally, a student may choose to propose an alternate partner for their service-learning project. This can be done by submitting the following information to the Service-Learning program:
1. Confirmation from the faculty member that they approve the alternate partner
2. Contact information (including email) of the site supervisor
3. Confirmation from the site supervisor that they are willing to meet the requirements of a community partner (see Community Partner page)
On rare occasion, a student may need to switch to a new site. If a student believes this is necessary, they must meet with the service-learning coordinator and receive faculty approval for the switch. Students must also complete a site switch form (available from the service-learning coordinator) and notify their previous site of the change. Please note that switching sites during the semester is a last resort and will be approved only when absolutely necessary.
Transportation is the greatest challenge and barrier faced by the Service-Learning Program. Currently, we have two options for transportation for students:
• The use of a personal vehicle or car pool with a friend or class mate
• The ELCE mini-bus
Students completing service-learning are legally considered mandated reporters. Students are required to report suspicion of neglect/abuse to site supervisor immediately.
The service-learning program is committed to providing students with the resources and support necessary to be successful in their service-learning project. Communication will primarily occur via campus email address.
Additionally, the Service-Learning Program expects active, professional communication from the student. Issues and concerns cannot be addressed unless we are made aware of them.
In order to ensure a positive experience for all involved in the service-learning experience, the Service-Learning Program has the following expectations for students:
• Students should employ respectful and responsible behavior at all times
• Students must actively communicate with their site, faculty member, and the service-learning office
• Students must be accountable to their site and uphold their commitment
• Students must dress appropriately for their site
• Students should limit technology use (including cell phones) when at their service-learning site
• Academic Coordinator-Student employees in the ELCE office who are assigned to oversee specific service-learning courses.
• Community Partner-Organizations and programs that host service-learning students and serve as co-educators in the service-learning experience
• EL-Experiential Learning. Service-Learning is one form of experiential learning. This is also a graduation requirement for CSB/SJU students which is met through a successful service-learning experience.
• ELCE-Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. This is the office in which the service-learning program is housed. We also oversee academic internships, undergraduate research, the Bonner Leader Program, the Jackson Fellowship, Community Kitchen and other fellowship programs.
• Hyphen-The CSB/SJU Service-Learning program chooses to hyphenate the term "service-learning" to note the critical, symbiotic nature between service and learning.
• IP-Initial Presentation. The in-class presentation given at the beginning of the semester introducing service-learning to students.
• Partnership-The Service-Learning program uses this term to describe the relationship between the student and their site. We do not use the term "placement" as it does not indicate the active participation of the student in the process.
• Reciprocal Partnership-The service-learning program strives to achieve partnership that are beneficial to the student and the community to ensure a mutually beneficial experience.