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 CSUCI 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 CSUCI 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 CSUCI 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.
  • TB testing shall be at the expense of the organization.

Sites can not provide opportunities that have students:

  • driving as part of service responsibilities
  • soliciting donations or fundraising for political purposes 
  • 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

If you are interested in a service-learning partnership or would like to know more about our program, please complete the Request to initiate a Service-Learning Partnership form or contact Kaitlyn Cotton, Community Partner Coordinator at 805.437.3191.

To learn more about our program please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Community Partner Resources

Schedule A Community Partner Consultation

The CCE 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 Community Partner Consulation.

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. These project requests will be added to the CI SERVES database so that service-learning faculty can view potential opportunities for course partnership with community partners. Please keep in mind project requests do not guarantee partnership with any specific course, but rather the project will be made available to interested service-learning faculty who will contact you directly for further information and to work out course partnership details.

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.

Guiding Questions for Service-Learning Partnership Meetings

A service-learning experience is a collaborative partnership between a faculty member and a community organization(s). The faculty member and community organization(s) together identify a project or activity that addresses a community need or contributes to the necessary work of the organization. The Guiding Questions for Service-Learning Partnership Meetings (PDF, 91KB) are meant to be a guide to discuss the objectives and details of the project and establish partnership expectations.

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: