Service-Learning Designation Parameters

Service-Learning is a pedagogical approach which includes experiential learning via meaningful community service paired with classroom instruction and reflection. It is meant to enrich the academic learning experience for the students, teach civic responsibility, and help the local community with identified needs.

For the Service-Learning Designation, courses need to meet the following parameters:

1. The Service-­Learning Designation Process is followed

2. Required service activities are connected to the academic material and curriculum goals of the course. The service­‐learning component is part of the requirements for a credit-­‐bearing course.

3. The service activities are meaningful to the community in which the students are volunteering.

4. The service activities are meaningful to the students (e.g. simply picking up trash on the side of the road might be helpful to a community but has little academic or personal impact for a student).

5. A minimum number of hours per student per semester are required. We suggest a range of 20-­30 hours, as that is the general standard stated in the SUNY Service-­‐ Learning Toolkit (University Faculty Senate). Fewer hours can also be successful, depending on the activities.

6. Some classroom time (or individual time) is spent discussing the service-­‐learning component prior to participation in service activities.

7. Reflection is an integral component to the assignment (this includes classroom discussions, journal entries, project evaluations, and/or classroom presentations).

8. The service activities foster and promote civic and/or social responsibility towards the community

9. No payment is received in exchange for the service activities (a paid internship, for example, is not service­‐learning).

10. The CSRC is notified of any changes from the original syllabus (submitted during the Service-Learning Designation Process) to the service-­‐learning component of the course during the semester.

11. Students will arrange their community service activities through the CSRC and fill out volunteer time sheets unless otherwise arranged.

Service-Learning should also:

1. Provide problem-‐solving opportunities

2. Foster critical thinking skills

3. Promote teamwork and cooperation

4. Include recognition of students’ efforts by peers, community members, and/or instructors

5. Connect the college with the community in positive ways

For additional questions, contact the CSRC: Wendy (Mitteager) Lascell Wendy.Lascell@oneonta.edu or Linda Drake Linda.Drake@oneonta.edu

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