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Best Practices

What is Effective?

Specifically, there are critical elements found in successful service-learning assignments. These include:

  • Service assignments must be connected with the curriculum on a regular basis throughout the course.
  • Service activities should be clear and specific.
  • Reflection is a critical component and should be integrated into the course in multiple ways.  (See “ Value of Reflection")
  • Where possible and appropriate, students should have some choice in service assignment.
  • Each student should complete and submit a " Learning Plan" prior to starting their service hours.
  • Students should receive orientation and training from both the instructor and their site supervisor.
  • Service should involve a minimum of 15 hours, with 20 or more hours preferred.
  • Students should sign-in and sign-out each time they serve at a site.
  • Faculty should be trained in utilizing service-learning best practices.
  • Faculty should regularly communicate with community partners. Before, during and after the semester is ideal.
  • Ongoing assessment of student and community partner experiences should be included.
  • Student accomplishments should be acknowledged by the community partner and the faculty member.