Frequently Asked Questions

Student FAQs

Service learning is an educational practice that aims to develop students into citizens who contribute to their communities and who promote social justice. It is genuinely a learning method because it requires you relate the experience to a course’s learning objectives and to employ analytical and creative thinking on the experience and to communicate your thinking in an effective manner. You can find the University’s official definition of service learning here.

You learn about the nature of a certain issue (such as poverty, an environmental concern, an issue in education, the nature of human and social relationships, etc.) in a real-world experience. You apply your theoretical learning in an area to social challenges. You make an impact on others’ lives. You gain value experience that you can list on your resume and talk about in a job interview.

Yes. Details on the exact requirements are available from your course syllabus and your professor. The main additional requirement is a certain number of hours spent working in a community-based organization or on a service project during the term.

Yes, including at the annual Academic Festival in late April.

Your professor can help answer questions about the organization or agency with which you will be volunteering, and help with logistics questions. In general, if you are volunteering for the first time with a new organization or agency, it can be difficult to navigate. It’s important to keep the following in mind:

  • Be flexible. You may be assigned tasks that you were not expecting. Adapt and make the most of the experience that the community partner is able to provide. Their resources are often very limited, and their needs might change on a day-to-day basis. You are there to assist in any way that they need.

  • Be observant. Remember that you are volunteering to help and serve the community partner but also to learn. Write down some notes after each session, and ask questions if you have them. This will help you as you try to articulate your experience in course assignments or reflections.

  • Be professional. As you communicate with community partner liaisons and any individuals that you serve (clients, students, etc.), it is important to maintain a professional attitude. Treat your service learning requirement as you would a job for which you were getting paid, or any other assignment for your course. Appropriate and professional dress, language, and conduct is expected at all times as a representative of Sacred Heart University.

If you are simply seeking a volunteer opportunity, then please visit the volunteer section of our website.