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Service-Learning Course Attribute Policy

In order for students to make more informed choices when selecting courses, courses and/or sections can now have a “service-learning” attribute in the course catalog or in the course topics section in SiS. This attribute will also allow students to have this noted on their transcript.

Service-Learning Course Attribute Criteria

For an undergraduate or graduate course to bear the Service-Learning attribute, service and learning must be integrated in order to enhance both. The following are the baseline criteria to be designated as a service-learning course. Individual colleges/schools/programs may have additional criteria.

  • Service: Students will provide a service to non-profit entities such as schools, government or community agencies or individuals collaborating with one of these parties.
  • Clear linkage between the service and course learning goals: Students will use knowledge from the course to provide the service.
  • Preparation for service: Students will be appropriately prepared for the service they will provide (examples include skill acquisition, dress and behavior codes, cultural context, special circumstances, consideration of user-needs, etc.)
  • Structured reflection/analysis: Students will engage in reflection or analysis in order to understand the current and potential impact of their service and how the service connects to course material. Reflection/analysis may include discussion, writing, role-playing, presentations, etc. Reflection/analysis can also inform how the service-learning course and/or project will be adapted in subsequent semesters.
  • Assessment: The course will offer a method to assess learning derived from the experience, such as grading student work. Credit will be given for the learning and its relation to the course, not for the service alone.

Process for having the attribute added

(Below assumes department chairs/program directors are aware of course offering & size)

  1. Faculty member fills out the Service-Learning Course Attribute Form and submits:
    • Course syllabus outlining course objectives and service-learning project details (including percentage of overall grade)
    • Check list showing that the course meets the baseline criteria for the servicelearning attribute, plus any college/school specific criteria
    • List of proposed/secured community partners with contact information from each, or information on how students will self-select partners.
  2. Service-Learning Coordinators review to ensure course/section is meeting baseline criteria, and is meeting any additional criteria designated by the specific college/school of the course.
  3. Service-Learning Coordinators submit recommendations to the UPC (Undergraduate Policy Committee) or GPAC (Graduate Program Policy & Affairs Committee) for their review and approval.
  4. After determining if the course meets the criteria, the course is approved and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the UPC or GPAC. Depending on the course sections, one of the below next steps will occur:
    • If a course does NOT vary by section (all sections offered are service-learning) then courses will be listed in the catalog as service-learning courses and will have a course description that specifies the service-learning components.
    • If a course does vary by section (meaning some sections have a service-learning component and some do not) then the sections with a service-learning component will have this noted in the “Topics” section of SiS and will be visible on the Registrar’s website.
    • If the service-learning component is optional to students in a course – this will be noted as an option in the Topics section of SiS and will be visible as an option on the registrar’s website. For “Service-Learning” to appear on the transcript for students, the instructors will approve the service-learning identification for individual students, unlike a. and b. where this will be automatic.
  5. A Service-Learning attribute will remain for one academic year. A syllabus and a form will be requested every year. The form will identify the following:
    • The course has no significant changes from prior year.
    • The course has minor changes from prior year (faculty list changes).
    • The course had significant changes (faculty resubmit a new Service-Learning Course Attribute Form).