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Five Criteria for SL Courses

Five Criteria for Service-Learning Designation for Courses across the Disciplines:

The course curriculum and pedagogical approach honor the following components: xxxslogo.gif 


Academic Connection:

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.ramhorns.gif

  • 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.










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