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For Faculty

The Office of Service Learning is here to support faculty in the following ways:

  • One-on-one consultation on syllabus design
  • Customized community partner matching
  • Service Learning workshops
  • Mixers: semi-structured networking with approved community partners
  • Processing required contracts and insurance for new community partners
  • Classroom presentation lead by student ambassadors (request a classroom presentation)
Manage your Service Learning class with the Service Learning & Internship Placement Database. 

The Service Learning and Internship Placement Database will allow you to:

  1. Narrow the sites associated with your course.  When your students log in, they will only see the sites you determine.  If you do nothing, students will default to seeing all service learning designated sites in the database.
  2. Monitor which students have successfully made a placement at a site.
  3. Email all students in your class with updates or reminders about service learning assignments.

For more detailed information about how to navigate the database, view the Faculty User Guide.

If you have questions about the Service Learning and Internship Database, please contact the Interim Service Learning Faculty Director, Veronica Anover at 760-750-8790 or vanover@csusm.edu


Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors

What is community service learning?
Service learning is an experiential pedagogy that creates an exciting learning experience for students by integrating community service with academic course work. Students serving at local non-profits and schools help meet real community needs while receiving "real life" experiences related to their course content. Service-learning activities inform, clarify, illustrate and stimulate thoughts about classroom topics, as well as encourage students to develop or strengthen a habit of service and social responsibility to the community.

What courses can have service learning components?
There are service learning courses in all four colleges. From first year undergraduates to graduate students, service learning can be integrated into most courses. The Academic Senate considers a course to be a service learning course if the community service component relates to the academic learning objectives of the course, is integrated with the academic content through reflection, and accounts for no less than 15% of the course grade.

Does observation or data collection count as service learning activities?
To qualify as service learning, student activities must meet a community-identified need and not just the good of the student's learning. Unless the community directly benefits from the student's observation or the data collection, these activities do not constitute service learning activities.

How is service learning different from volunteerism and internships?
While volunteerism is geared toward the advantage of the community, community service learning also requires that the student reflect on and learn from the service being performed. Thus, the student as well as the community receives the "benefits" of the activity (Furco 1996).

And internships? And Service Learning?
While internships or field placements tend to focus solely on student learning, community service learning emphasizes the advantages to both the student and the recipient of the service activity (Furco 1996). Service learning focuses on both the service the community needs and the instructor's learning objectives: both the community needs and the student's learning needs are met.

Why should I incorporate service learning into my curriculum?
Benefits include:
* Many students learn better through concrete experiences
* Students' stimulation creates livelier classroom discussions
* Student learning is deeper and more well rounded
* There are great opportunities for research and collaboration
* There are many publishing and presenting opportunities
* The Office of Service Learning hosts free workshops and training for service learning faculty
* The Office of Service Learning can provide you with books, articles, sample syllabi and other resources on service learning

How do I get started?
Simply call the Office of Service Learning at 750-4055 and speak with Veronica Anover, Interim Service Learning Faculty Director, (vanover@csusm.edu) about integrating service learning into your course or contact Anna Fleming, Service Partner Liaison, (afleming@csusm.edu) to discuss possible community partners.

How does a site become a service partner?

Because of best practices in the pedagogy of service learning, there is a screening process for interested sites to become a service partners.  The process first includes a faculty endorsement to ensure that the site indeed has a connection to course curriculum.  With that faculty endorsement, the Office of Service Learning will determine if a site visit is necessary and ultimately forward a Placement Agreement that is signed both by the site and the university.  Once all these steps are complete, a site will be added to the Service Learning and Internship Database and students can begin placing themselves at the site. If all goes smoothly in the process, new sites can be added in about 4 weeks.  However, if there are questions or concerns that need to be addressed about the partnership, the timeline can be longer.

Why is my Service Learning course not appearing in the Service Learning and Internship Database?
In order for courses to appear in the database, they must have the Service Learning attribute in Peoplesoft.  If this was not selected when the course was created, the attribute can be edited after the fact by submitting this Service Learning Designation Request form.  Once the form is submitted, the course should appear on the Service Learning and Internship Database within 1-2 business days.