What is Service-Learning?

Do you want students to experience working on  interesting, real-world problems? Or perhaps have opportunities to apply their disciplinary knowledge in new situations where they can contribute to the community in a socially responsible manner. If so, then consider how you might use service-learning - which is a way of teaching and learning that links course content to "real-life" experiences that center on a community need or issue to meet the learning objectives. 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.

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) provides resources and support to faculty who are interested in or incorporating service-learning into their course(s). The following resources are available to faculty offering a service-learning course.

Fall 2017 Service-Learning Faculty

  • Mariano Baez - Liberal Studies
  • Frank Carrillo - Sociology
  • Nien Chen-Tsu - Communication
  • Stephen Clark - Spanish
  • Mari Estrada - Early Childhood Studies 
  • Jose Garcia - Education
  • Gary Garcia - Sociology
  • Kristin Jordan - Sociology
  • Megan Kenny Feister - Communication
  • Susan Lefevere - University Experience
  • Margarita Lopez - Lopez - Spanish
  • Carol Mack - Health Sciences
  • Sunghee Nam - Sociology
  • Jarmila Nguyen - Mathematics
  • Lindsey O'Connor - Sociology
  • Suzanne Soule - University Experience
  • Annie White - Early Childhood Education  

Faculty Consultations

The CCE staff is available to discuss community partners, service-learning curriculum and projects, and service-learning resources. Schedule a consultation.

Including Service-Learning In Your Syllabus

The following two links - from the Journal of Effective Teaching and Learn and Serve  - present elements of best practices that you may want to want to include when integrating service-learning in your course syllabus. 

Classroom Orientations

The CCE staff will conduct orientations during class or at other pre-arranged times to introduce students to service-learning concepts, methods and purpose. Request a classroom orientation.

Parking Permits 

If you are inviting community partners to present in-class orientations and need parking permits, CCE staff will request parking permits and have them waiting at Placer Hall on the date requested. Parking permits must be requested 48 hours in advance. Request a parking permit.

Faculty Guidebook

The Faculty Guidebook (PDF, 895KB) is designed to be a reference tool for faculty involved in service-learning. This guidebook will provide you with necessary resources for your service-learning course(s).

Service-Learning Course Support Funds

Faculty teaching a service-learning course are eligible to apply for funds up to $500 to support high-impact service-learning practices and projects by covering essential associated costs. 

When requesting these purchasing funds please keep the following in mind: 

  • Include full item description, quantity, current price, all vendor information and delivery location with your request.
  • Do not purchase supplies with you own funds.
  • Purchasing can take up to four weeks, so please submit your requests early.
  • Funds typically can not be used to purchase food.
  • There are other restrictions on purchasing, when in doubt please contact the CCE. 
    Apply for service-learning course funding.

Conference Registration Funds 

The CCE will cover conference registration for faculty to attend or present at a service-learning conference. These funds are offered on a first-come-first served basis.  Apply for conference funding List of Conferences

The Art of Reflection 

Reflection is integral to service-learning because it connects and reinforces in-class work, course readings, and service 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:

Service-Learning Sylabii Resources

The following are links that provide examples of service-learning syllabi across a wide variety of disciplines.

Service-Learning Journals 

The following peer-reviewed journals publish community-engaged research, including research related to civic engagement and service-learning in higher education

Publishing Outlets for Service Learning and Community-Based Research

For a comprehensive list of publishing resources.