Service-Learning FAQs for Students

What is the difference between Service-Learning and Community Service?

Service-learning is curriculum-based and structured as a class requirement in which students enroll and serve the community.  It includes both a classroom and an off-campus experience with a reflective component and meets the objectives and goals set forth by the instructor/course. In community service, the emphasis is on the people being helped and the service being offered.  These are services, which are identified by an institution of higher education, through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations. Community service is designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, to solve particular problems related to their needs, including such fields as health care, child care, literacy training, education welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, disaster relief, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, and community improvement; among others.

Can a service-learning site be a for-profit or nonprofit site?

Yes, service learning hours can by acquired at a for-profit or nonprofit site upon prior approval of the site. 

Where can I find a list of approved sites?

For a list of currently approved agencies, click here : Spring 2015 Agency Partner List

What are the steps to get a new site approved?

For sites not listed on our approved agency list, stop by The Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning located in Suite 110, Jacob L. Reddix Hall, or download a copy of the Site Agreement Packet.  These forms must be completed by the Community Partner and approved by our office before the service experience begins.  The site/agency supervisor must provide our office with the following information:

  • Completed JSU Site Agreement Form
  • Completed JSU Request for Services Form
  • Copy of 947 Form (IRS Award Letter); if agency is a non-profit
  • Letter of Need' on official agency letterhead, which includes the a brief description of your agency  and the expected duties of the students; if agency is a for-profit entity

Once our office has received the returned forms, a staff member from The Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service & Community Engaged Learning  will notify the community agency and the student of approval or rejection.  If the site meets all requirements for approval, The Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service & Community Engaged Learning for Service will add the community partner to the following semester approved Agency List.

**A completed Site Agreement Packet will include three documents: (1)  Site Agreement Form (2) Request for Services Form (3) 947 IRS Form or 'Letter of Need'. Please note that all forms must be mailed to our office or hand delivered, as we need original signatures. The site approval process normally takes between 3-5 business days. NO INCOMPLETE PACKETS WILL BE ACCEPTED!

What is the student requirement for Service-Learning?

All students are required to attend or complete an orientation prior to starting the service experience. Service-Learning Orientations (for students) are schedule for January 28 – 30 at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; 2nd floor Jacob L. Reddix Hall (General Purpose Room). All students are required to complete a Service Learning Registration Package which includes the Service Learning Registration Form, Forgery Statement. Student Liability Release Form and Agreement, and a Professional Guideline Form, (for each enrolled service-learning course). The Service Learning Registration Package must be submitted to your professor, prior to the service experience and by the February 9, 2015, deadline.

What should I do if I miss the orientation?

If you miss the orientation you should contact the Associate Director, Dr.Gisele Gentry at 601-979-6938 or however, the Service Learning Registration Package must still be submitted by the February 9, 2015, deadline. If the Service Learning Registration Package is not submitted by the deadline, hours completed will not be recorded on the student's transcriptService-Learning Registration Package 2015

Do I have to complete service-learning if I have already met the Graduation Service requirement?

Yes, even if you have completed the Graduation Service Requirement and your professor requires service hours for his/her course, you must complete the additional hours.

How to submit your service-learning log in form?

All forms should be submitted to your professor prior to the set deadline. Your professor will submit all forms to the Faculty Liaison in The Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service & Community Engaged Learning.

Why were my service-learning hours NOT accepted?

We do NOT accept the following:

  • electronic signatures
  • pictures of the service-learning log in form
  • faxed forms
  • forms not signed by supervisor or student
  • incomplete forms
  • non-verifiable hours  
How do I check my Service-Learning hours?

Step 1: Log into your P.A.W.S account; Step 2:  "Click" Student Records; Step 3: "Click" Academic Transcript; and Step 4:  "Click" Transcript Levels, scroll down to Community Service, press "Submit"

When are the service-learning deadlines for this semester?
  • February 9 -  Student Registration Package are due to the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning (forms must be submitted by the professor only/NO EXCEPTIONS).
  • April 17- All service-learning log in forms are due to the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning (forms must be submitted by the professor only/NO EXCEPTIONS).



Spring 2015 Agency Partner List

Missing Service-Learning Hours Form

Service Learning Log-in form 072015

Site Agreement Packet