Community Partners FAQs
- What is service learning?
In short, students will help provide a service for your agency as part of an academic course. By combining the theory learned in class and practice from real-life experience, service learning fosters a broader understanding of not only the curriculum, but also of the students themselves and their place in the community. You can find the University’s official definition of service learning here.
- How is service learning different from volunteerism or internships?
A service learning course aims to fully integrate service with academic learning, while volunteering has little or no connection to formal coursework. Also, service learning examines the service experience in the context of ongoing learning, whereas internships apply what has been learned earlier.
- What are the potential benefits to my organization?
You can expect a predictable amount of people-hours from students working on a project with your organization. In some instances, you will get skilled service from students who will shortly be in a job using those very skills. If you have a project that requires some special skills or research, or if you have something that requires 10 to 13 weeks of concentrated effort to be completed, your agency can also benefit from partnering with a service learning class. When you reach out to our office to partner with us, please be as specific as possible about the types of help (i.e. specific skills) that would most benefit your organization, and the time commitment that you need for each project.
- What are my agency’s responsibilities?
- Identify needs of your agency that a service learning course could fulfill
- Orient students to social issues, agency mission, and expectations of service learning volunteers, either at service site or in classroom
- Familiarize yourself with the details of the service learning course syllabus, and assist students in connecting service learning hours with course readings, objectives, and themes
- Supervise students while they are at your service site
- Notify instructor as soon as possible if a problem arises
- Evaluate success of project at semester’s end
- How do I get started?
To partner with the Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, please fill out our contact form. A member of our staff will reach out to you with further information.