Service-Learning

What is service-learning?

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy(not an outcome) that integrates classroom curriculum with organized service projects; it includes both a classroom and off-campus experience (Eyler & Giles, 1999; Hatcher, Bringle, & Mathiah, 2004; Hurd, 2006; Mariani,2004). "It is aligning the course content by meeting a need of the community through student practice" (Campus Compact, 2000, P.15). This 'learning-by-doing' process provides a context for testing, trying out discipline-based theories, observations, concepts, practica and pedagogies. It allows the student an opportunity to utilize critical thinking problem solving, creativity, communication and performance techniques ( Hurd, 2006; Steiner & Sands, 2000). In order for Service-Learning to accomplish its varied goals-to strengthen classroom learning, to contribute to the community, and to be beneficial to students' personal and civic development-it is important that the faculty and students are actively engaged in planning and implementing service activities. While most of these factors are present in the service-learning experience, true service-learning also incorporates a reflection assignment/instrument to enhance the learning experience (American Association for Higher Education:1999)

Service-Learning aims to further faculty research and teaching, enhance students' education, and build  community partnerships that create a win-win for all parties involved.  The learning environment at Jackson State University is enriched through experiential learning, as stated in the university's core values.  Thus, the office strives to help create a "classroom without walls" that is beneficial to faculty members, students, community partners, and the university in the following ways:

For Faculty Members, the Service-Learning office strives to:

  • Assist in the development of innovative approaches to instruction
  • Provide support for Service-Learning courses (student orientation, site monitoring, reflection activities, reporting hours to the student transcript)
  • Sponsor programs, speakers, and symposia on Service-Learning
  • Support faculty members' efforts to disseminate information through conference presentations or publications
  • Provide opportunities for collaborative community research and project development

For College Students, Service-Learning allows them to:

  • Apply concepts from the classroom to their service at participating community agencies (profit and/or nonprofit)
  • Learn to work within a diverse community
  • Gain knowledge and expertise from the community
  • Evaluate, question, and reformulate their civic values
  • Prepare for participation in internships and research
  • Explore career options
  • Provide worthwhile assistance to a community agency

For Community Partners, Service-Learning:

  • Gives access to the services of university students
  • Increases volunteer diversity in gender, age and race 
  • Allows agencies to identify needs and meet those needs through the development of a service project 
  • Builds ongoing relationships between the university and the community partner

For the University, Service-Learning:

  • Furthers the goals of the strategic plan and the mission of the University 
  • Drives the university as an active, engaged partner in the community
  • Facilitates university teaching, researchand program development
  • Increases student retention and engagement

 

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 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, as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, or 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.

What is the student requirement for Service-Learning.

All students are required to attend or complete an orientation prior to starting the service experience. All students are required to complete a Service Learning Registration Packet which includes the Service Learning Registration Form, Student Liability Release Form and Agreement, and a Professional Guideline Form, (for each enrolled service-learning course) and submit forms to your professor, prior to the service experience and by the September 19, deadline.

What should I do if I miss the orientation?

If you miss the orientation you should contact the Faculty Liaison Regina Clay  at 601-979-6939 or regina.clay@jsums.edu  however, the registration packet must still be submitted by the September 19 deadline Service Learning Registration Package .  If registration packets are not submitted in a timely fashion, hours completed will not be recorded on the student transcript.

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.

If I am enrolled in two (2) different courses at the same time, that require service-learning hours, can I use the same worked hours twice?

No, each course requires a different set of hours.

Can I get paid while I am earning service hours?

No

Can a service-learning site be a nonprofit site?

Yes, upon approval.

Where can I find a list of approved sites?

For a list of currently approved agencies please visit our website at http://www.jsums.edu/studentlife/files/2012/08/CSCEL-Agency-Partner-List-Spring-2014.pdf

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 Approval 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 Approval 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

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.

What will NOT be accepted on your service-learning log in form?

Pictures of your forms, faxed forms, electronic signatures, and forms not signed by the student will not be accepted.

How do I check my Service-Learning hours?

Students can log on to their JSU PAWS account.

When are the service-learning deadlines for this semester?

  • September 19- Fall Student Registration Packets are due to the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning (forms must be submitted by the professor only/NO EXCEPTIONS).
  • November 21- 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).

​Downloads:

Missing Service- Learning Hours Form

Service Learning Log-in form

Service Learning Registration Package

Site Agreement Packet

 

Service Learning FAQs

for Faculty

 

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 off-campus experience with a reflective component and meets the objectives and goals set forth by the instructor. 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, as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, or 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.

What information must I submit at the beginning of every semester to the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning?

  1.  Notification that you are utilizing service-learning for the semester.
  2. Submit a copy of your course syllabus.
  3. Submit a brief bio of your service project/initiative including but not limited to number of service hours for the course, community partner's involved, activity description,activity schedule, activity location, additional notes, etc.

What is the faculty requirement for Service-Learning?  

All students are required to attend and/or complete an orientation prior to starting the service experience. All students are required to complete a Service Learning Registration Packet which includes the Service-Learning Registration Form, Student Liability Release Form and Agreement, and a Professional Guideline Form (for each service-learning course) prior to the service experience and submit the registration packet to the professor. The professor is responsible for submitting the registration packet to the faculty liaison,  in the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning, by the September 19 deadline.

When are the Service-Learning deadlines for this semester?

August 22- Service-Learning Course Enrollment Form/submission of the  course syllabus is due (returning faculty who already teach a designated service-learning course)

September 19- Fall Student Registration Packets are due to the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning (forms must be submitted by the professor only/NO EXCEPTIONS).

November 21- 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).

September 30-  Service-Learning Course Enrollment Form/submission of the  course syllabus is due (new faculty)

What events have been planned for this semester?

August 19- Harden Center 411 Series for returning faculty (your course has already been designated as a service-learning course) 10:00 a.m. in the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning Conference Room.

September 9- Community In Action Fair (CIA), 1:00-4:00 p.m., located in the Student Center Ballroom.

September 10-12- Service-Learning Orientations (for students)  9:00, 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. located in the General Purpose Room

September 23- Harden Center 411 Series for new faculty, 10:00 a.m. in the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning Conference Room.

Download:

Service-Learning Course Enrollment Form

What do I have to do in order to offer a service-learning course? 

Please contact the Faculty Liaison Regina Clay at 601-979-6939 or regina.clay@jsums.edu