Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead
What is Service-Learning?
Service-learning is a way of teaching and learning that links course content to "real-life" experiences that center on a community need or issue. Through reflection activities students are given the opportunity to understand what was learned and experienced, and how the community was benefited.
Service-learning is a direct expression of the CI mission and a critical component of the curriculum. Service-learning courses equip students with the knowledge and experience necessary to transform them into future leaders and socially-conscious citizens.
What is a Community Partner?
A community partner is a co-educator who works directly with faculty to provide high quality service- learning projects for groups of students on a semester basis. This entails providing training, orientation, guided reflection and supervision for students who serve from 15-90 hours per semester, or more.
Community partners are integral to the success of our service-learning students. Community partners serve as co-educators who facilitate onsite learning and reflection for CI students, resulting in an integrative teaching approach that provides a foundation for student learning.
Is Your Organization Interested in Becoming a Community Partner?
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) serves to create, maintain and sustain partnerships with our local and regional community. We look forward to partnering with you to enhance the learning experience of CI students. To initiate a partnership with the CCE, the following criteria are required:
- Site must maintain a current non-profit 501c(3) status, be a government agency or school district
- Provide a certificate of general liability insurance
- Have a physical location or main office
- Provide on-site student supervision
NOTE: California law may require your organization to obtain a student's fingerprints and submit them to the Department of Justice, and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for a criminal background check. It is the organization's responsibility to: l) determine whether such fingerprinting is required; 2) obtain the student's fingerprints; 3) obtain criminal background clearance from the appropriate agency; and 4) incur the cost of fingerprinting.
Sites should not provide opportunities that have students:
- driving as part of service responsibilities
- soliciting donations or fundraising on behalf of the organization
- attempting to influence legislation
- prophesying or promoting a particular religious doctrine or political candidate
- organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes
- assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing
- participating in activities that pose a significant safety risk to participants
- any paid service activities
Please note that once you meet the criteria, we will conduct a site visit to ensure the safety of our students. If you are interested in a service-learning partnership or would like to know more about our program, please complete the Request to Initiate Service-Learning Partnership form or contact Kaitlyn Cotton, Community Partner Coordinator at 805.437.3191.
To learn more about our program and help you decide please read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Schedule A Community Partner Consultation
The Center for Community Engagement welcomes an opportunity to meet one-on-one with community partners to discuss service-learning related issues/concerns, to better understand the service-learning program and your role as a co-educator or brainstorm service-learning projects. Request a consultation.
Community Partner Resources
CI SERVES Database
CI SERVES is an online database for managing approved service-learning community partners, tracking student placements at organizations and collecting student service-learning forms & evaluations. If you are an existing community partner and need to make changes to your profile, please contact Kaitlyn Cotton, Community Partner Coordinator at (805) 680-0278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service-Learning Project Request Form
Are you a community partner with a specific idea for a service-learning project? Please complete the SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT REQUEST FORM. Our Community Partner Coordinator, will follow-up with you to discuss potential faculty and course(s) partnerships.
Community Partner Service-Learning Guidebook
THE COMMUNITY PARTNER GUIDEBOOK (PDF, 299KB) is designed to be a resource tool for community partners involved with service learning faculty/courses. The resource guide provides you with guidance on your role as a co-educator, designing a service-learning project, preparing students to serve at your organization, and facilitating student reflection activities.
The Art of Reflection
REFLECTION is integral to service-learning because it connects and reinforces in-class work, course readings, and service-learning experiences. It provides an opportunity for students to think critically about service experiences, examine and challenge personal values, beliefs, and opinions, while allowing students to ask questions, share ideas and experiences, challenge current solutions to community issues and develop plans to address community needs.
Additional reflection resources: