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 List 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. Your reflection should be at least 1,000 words.
Identify the societal or ecological issue* you have helped to address through your service. Explain how you have helped.
Explanatory note: *For information about the issue, see the mission statement of the organization in which you are doing service. The issue may be a problem such as invasive species or insufficient educational resources. Or it may be a goal such as clean energy or waste reduction (see the state's sustainability goals) or zero hunger or good health and well-being (see UN sustainable development goals).
Discuss 3 concepts/theories from your coursework that have helped you do your service. Describe experiences during your service that have helped you understand those concepts/theories.
As an informed individual and citizen, discuss the issue you explained above as a public or community 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 one or more solutions to the problem.
Explain how your coursework and service activities have shaped your personal, academic or professional goals.
From the list below, select all the ones you are interested in doing 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 family, friends, and/or neighbors who are affected by the problem
2. Serve or fundraise to support a community-based organization that is working on the problem
3. Patronize businesses that are actively working to lessen the severity of the problem or are committed to not making the problem worse
4. Convene a dialog with policy-makers who are working on the problem
5. Advocate with public officials and/or legislators who are working on the problem
6. Start, lead or join a campus group that is working on the problem
7. Take another course to gain a new perspective on the problem
8. Complete a degree that will provide me with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work on the problem in my profession
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.