The only way to get positive feelings about yourself is to take positive actions.
- Reverend Vaughan Quinn
Orientation is mandatory for all students seeking a service-learning opportunity in their classes. Students can do the online orientation or participate in an in-person orientation. Some courses have in-class orientations.
Choosing a community partner
Use the Community Partner Directory to find a site that best suits your course and individual needs. Consider:
Reflection is an essential element of service-learning. It's the requirement that captures the essence of your experience in words. While the reflection assignment is not submitted until the end of the semester, you begin reflection even prior to the start of your service-learning.
If your course does not provide reflection activities, get a service-learning journal at the start of the semester and participate in a midterm reflection workshop.
Here's the reflection prompt, which should be at least 1,000 words, or 4 pages.
A. Statement of the issue/activities: Identify the issue you focused on, and explain how it relates to diversity, equity, health or sustainability. Describe the activities you engaged in that addressed this issue.
B. Academic/applied learning: Describe 3-5 central course concepts/theories that deepened your understanding of the issue you focused on. Describe how you applied those course concepts/theories in your activities. Explain how your activities deepened your understanding of these course concepts/theories.
C. Moral and civic engagement: As an informed individual and citizen, discuss the issue you focused on as a public problem. What elements of unfairness or injustice does the problem have? Do you believe more people should care about the problem? Why or why not? Discuss possible solutions to the problem.
D. Change/commitment: Explain how your coursework and activities have shaped your personal, academic or career goals. From the list below, select three actions and discuss at least one in detail. Explain how the action(s) you will take will help reduce the impact of the problem.
1. Support people in my family and my friends who are affected by the problem.
2. Take another course to gain a new perspective on the problem.
3. Join, start, or lead a campus student group working on the problem.
4. Serve at a community-based organization working on the problem.
5. Convene a dialog with policy-makers working on the problem.
6. Advocate with public officials and legislators who work on the problem.
7. Fund-raise to support non-profit organizations working on the problem
8. Complete a degree that will provide me with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work on the problem in my career.
9. Other (specify)
Continued Community Support
Take your experience beyond the semester and commit to year-long or life-long service. There are many courses you may be interested in taking that offer service-learning, therefore allowing you to continue to receive course credit for your service. Sustained service can lead to job opportunities, scholarships, and a richer experience where you will have a greater chance to see how you impact the community.