Service Learning Basics Gavilan College, July 2013

Service Learning Basics
Gavilan College, July 2013
What is Service-Learning?
“Service-learning is a form of
experiential education in which students
engage in activities that address human
and community needs together with
structured opportunities intentionally
designed to promote student learning and
development. Reflection and reciprocity
are key concepts of service learning.”
(Jacoby, 1996, p.5)
 Service
is meaningful and intentionally
associated with learning objectives of the
course AND meeting a need of the
 Service
enables students and faculty to
reflect on how knowledge from the
discipline informs and shapes the
service experience and vice versa.
At Gavilan College service learning is when
students go into the community to do work
related to what they learn in class.
• It allows students, faculty, and community organizations to
work together to everyone's benefit.
• Classes are enriched and made real when students apply
what they are learning at non-profits in their own
communities. Faculty are challenged to update and enrich
their teaching.
• And social service agencies benefit when students come
in to do projects, bringing fresh perspectives to their
 The
Gavilan College Service Learning
Program provides avenues for students,
faculty, and partner organizations to
promote justice, diversity, and social
responsibility by integrating academic
experiences with service.
Volunteering – doing good deeds, altruism
Internship – experiential education designed to
assimilate and demonstrate mastery of skills for
professional development and/or licensure
Placement – “dropping” students off at a site
hoping you’ll harvest some learning
An “add on” – all courses have an expectation
and requirement of “out of class” work. SL is part
of that expectation.
Service Learning CAN BE:
--whole class does a project for/with one agency
--three or four agencies offer similar projects for
groups of students
--whole class does project of community benefit,
such as park clean-up or trail clearing
Service Learning CAN also BE:
--student work with clients at an agency
--work with class-relevant projects such as
nitrogen-cycle measurements at an agency
--work with class-relevant projects such as
cosmetology services out in the community
--research that an agency needs done, publication
--research that the community needs done,
Triangulation of Service-Learning
Benefits of Service Learning
A reduction in negative stereotypes
Greater self-knowledge
Enhanced interpersonal & leadership skills
Increased awareness of the community
Deeper understanding of subject matter
Better integration of class concepts to
authentic issues
Useful service to the community
Enhanced relations between to college and
Putting Service-Learning into
•Building long-term relationships
•Emphasizing good
•Ensuring reciprocity
We help you:
1. Find the right partners
2. Make first contact
3. Develop your relationship
Solve problems that come up
 Service
Learning is a partnership between
the college and community organizations
 Effective
partnerships need
• Trust and mutual obligation
• Good communication
• Mutual benefit and obligation where objectives,
goals, & needs of both parties are met
• Parity in decision-making of roles and
Checking out our partners
 They
change! Some leave, close, or modify
 You
can request additions but they go
through a process first
 We
can help you find the right one or group
 Initial
discussion about the types of
placements you are seeking
 The
CL will contact the agencies, discuss
collaboration with faculty
 Input
agency information on the website
 Provide
 Check
agencies with up to date paperwork
in with agencies and faculty during
the semester
What kind of experience do you want students to
How do you define “meaningful” service work for
students in your class?
What skills do you want your students to learn,
practice, and/or develop?
How closely do you want the agency’s objectives to
be connected to your class content?
How many agencies would you like your students to
have the opportunity to work with?
Which locations are important for your students to work in
– Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Benito County, San Jose, etc?
What are your expectations regarding student supervision
at the agencies?
How many hours would you like the students to complete
over the semester?
How closely do you want your students to work with the
clients served by the agencies you work with?
Do you have special class projects that will require the
participation of your community partner (such as
Share Your Syllabus and Instructional
Objectives – How will course content connect
with goals and objectives of the agency?
Describe Student Skill Level – Reading, writing,
critical thinking and other relevant skills.
Explain Timeline – Semester calendar and
Consider Capacity - How many students can the
partner ably supervise and support?
Discuss Possible Projects – will students complete a
special class project related to their service work? Will this
require collaboration with the community partner
(interviews, data, etc)
Clarify Roles - What are the roles and responsibilities of the
instructor, the partner, and the students?
Orientation Process - Establish when, where and how
students will be oriented to the community partner site,
population served, etc.
Determine Partner Contact Person and Create
Communication Plan - Clarify who will supervise students
Provide students with meaningful service
Conduct a real interview to make sure the student is
appropriate for the work
Appropriate supervision
Let students and faculty know what the agencies
expectations are
Provide written assessment/evaluations of students
and completed time sheets
Engage with faculty and students
 Have
them as a guest speaker in the first
few weeks of class
 Have
them engage in reflection activities
 Work
on papers, grants, presentations
 Other
 The
“hard work” in service learning is
the “up front” work before the class
 With
the investment of time and energy,
you create long-lasting RELATIONSHIPS
to build upon
• Later you have “short-hand” conversations
If you can, create your own webpage for your
service learning class
• List of agencies and links to their webpage
• Paperwork, applications, best practices
• Class requirements assignment
Provide students with a list of agencies that your
class is working with
Decide before the class starts how you will deal with students
that want/need to work with agencies not on your approved list
Have them give a brief presentation in your class
• Helps to put a face to a name and ease student’s
Recognize and utilize expertise of agency
partner to enhance & enrich classroom
Remember that SL is focused on mutual benefit &
addressing mutual need
Clarify roles and mutual support
On-going communication
Collaboration vs. “exploitation”
Objectives include needs/goals of partner
Contact me anytime:
Leah Halper
408 886 1631
[email protected]