Five Criteria for Service-Learning Designation for Courses across the Disciplines:
The course curriculum and pedagogical approach honor the following components:
Service is related to curriculum and fully integrated into course goals, student learning outcomes. Participation is required.
- The service-learning component of the course is directly linked to the academic goals of the course; each informs and transforms the other.
- Goals of the service-learning component are clearly articulated in terms of the broader course goals.
Community Voice and Quality Service:
The service project/placement engages and fulfills community identified issues as well as meeting course objectives. This includes determining a timeframe, required skill-set for students, training requirements etc.
- The service component responds to the issues of the community as defined by the community.
- Goals are developed in the context of community issues, but with a focus on the assets/capacities of all partners (students, community partners, faculty members, etc.).
- Students are prepared for entrance into the community through an introduction to the agency / issue and appropriate training.
Underlying understanding that every individual, organization, and entity involved in the service-learning functions as a both teacher and a learner.
- Partners in the process develop a shared vision and joint strategies.
- Partners learn from and teach each other on an on-going basis.
A mechanism that encourages students to link their service experience to course content and to process their personal experience/perceptions.
- Formal and informal reflection is conducted before, during and after the service.
- Social, psychological, political and ethical considerations are made while reflecting on the service experience.
A method/tool embedded in the course for understanding effectiveness of service-learning for all participants: faculty, students, and community partners.
- Evaluation seeks to measure the progress towards and outcomes of both the learning and service goals of the course.
- Assignment that demonstrates that student capacity to link academic knowledge to practice.