Standards for Service-Learning Syllabi at UNCG

Learning Objectives – Is the service component linked to both academic and civic learning objectives?

Links Between In-Class and Out-of-Class – Are there explicit connections regarding how the service component informs and enhances traditional course resources (e.g., textbooks, class discussions, library research, etc.)?

Reflection – Are there opportunities for students to prepare for and process the service component of their course through individual and shared reflection?

Partnerships – Has the course instructor identified community partners who are willing and able to facilitate student learning through service in their organizations?

Reciprocity of Service – Does the type of service provided by the students genuinely serve the community agency in an ethical and useful way? Is the number of hours or sessions that students are involved in at the agency adequate? (Most community partners feel that fewer than 20 hours per student per semester do not serve their needs adequately or is worth the amount of effort required to orient students to their site.)

Leadership – Does the course help students develop their competencies as leaders? Leadership objectives may include goal setting, project management, active listening, motivating others, defining leadership, creating a vision, collaboration and communication.

Dissemination – Do the students share their experiences, findings or reflections with community partners so that partners may benefit from students’ learning, in addition to their on-site service?

Items to include in your syllabus:

  1. Introduce the service-learning component in the description of your course and define what it is so students understand how it is academic in nature.
  2. Articulate how the service experience will enhance their understanding of the course content and materials.
  3. Articulate the approximate number of hours students will be expected to serve and the names of the organization(s) they may serve.
  4. Include a schedule for reflection and service-learning based assignments.
  5. Explain how service-learning reflection assignments will be assessed.
  6. Include a statement regarding the importance of high quality service as students represent their instructors, the OLSL and the UNCG community. (Note: Please do not grade students’ service. The only acceptable level of service is “A” quality work. Providing anything less is disrespectful of the community partner and may damage the relationship between the community partner and the faculty member. The quality of service can be confirmed by the community partner via phone or e-mails throughout the semester.)

Reference: Howard, J. (Ed.). (2001). Service-Learning Course Design Workbook. Ann Arbor, MI: OCSL Press.

This content is available as a Download: Standards for SVL at UNCG (DOC)