Service Learning is a teaching strategy that ties course curriculum and concepts with service in the community. Students who participate create learning objectives around their course and connect them to the service experience. Service Learning helps students enhance course learning, gain valuable skills for employment and improve their views on civic engagement. Students can participate in a wide variety of service opportunities including delivering meals and providing companionship to seniors, helping at local blood drives and working in a K-12 classroom.
Only students in courses that offer a Service Learning component are eligible. Students are required to serve a minimum of 15 hours over the semester with a registered community partner and will earn course credit, a certificate of recognition and co-curricular transcript notation.
Service Learning Forms
- Service Learning Directory of Agencies
- Service Learning Agreement Form
- Service Learning Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
For Faculty Members
Below are the steps for getting started and the program process:
- Determine how you want to incorporate Service Learning into your courses and then include the option in the course syllabus. Develop 1-3 learning objectives as it relates to your course or allow the students to write their own objectives and just provide guidance. They can also add any personal and/or professional objectives.
- Confirm with me that you will be offering Service Learning and indicate which courses you are using it in, and what semester you plan on starting. I will then schedule classroom presentations to inform students of the service learning option, the benefits and how to sign up. This presentation usually takes about 20 minutes.
- Student then contacts community partner to get started, completes a SL Agreement form and turns in by the deadline date. Student will ask for your signature on the form. After the enrollment deadline date, I’ll e-mail you a list of your students that signed up.
- Student keeps track of hours (15 minimum) on a SL timesheet, gets all signatures and turns in by the deadline date. They also must complete the course assignment in your class.
- At end of semester I’ll send you a list of students who completed hours and you provide appropriate class credit.
If you would like more information, you may borrow the Service Learning Faculty Guidebook in the Office of Student Activities in Room 67A-105.
Community Partner Agency/Organization
Partnering organizations shall provide volunteer tasks that are related to the learning objectives of the student. They should also provide adequate supervision and complete a program evaluation at the end of the semester. They should meet all requirements listed on the Service Learning contract approved by the Southwestern Governing Board.
How To Get Involved?
To be considered as a Southwestern College Service Learning Community Partner, there are a few criteria the organization must meet:
- Be a non-profit or public agency serving community needs.
- Interested in promoting students’ academic learning, volunteerism, and civic engagement.
- Have a responsible contact person who will communicate with students, faculty, and/or staff.
- Provide the necessary orientation, training, and supervision of students.
- Clearly define the skills needed and the expectations, responsibilities, and requirements
each service learning assignment.
Interested in becoming a Community Partner?
Please complete this online Service Learning Community Partner Application Form.