Academic Service-Learning Standards

Course Based, Credit Bearing, Reflective and Connected Service

Learning is: a course based, credit bearing experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflects on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. (Bringle & Hatcher, 1996, p. 2)

Minimum Standards for Service Learning at IWC

Starting the fall 2012, IWC will move to an all academic service learning platform as its service requirement for graduates. As such, the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement will work with faculty to ensure that service learning classes meet standards that align with best practices. These will include:

  1. Having an SL, or SL optional designation in the course schedule (due to the registrar the week before mid term each semester. Please send the registrar an email with your cour se number and if it is SL required or SL optional).
  2. Targeting a minimum of 15 service hours devoted to direct service and service - related reflection.
  3. Having the SL project noted in your course syllabus.
  4. Having at least one reflection activity in which stud ents can reflect on the value of the service to themselves and others. These could be included with existing assignments such as a section of a written paper, etc. Ideas for reflection include: journals, in - class discussions, blogs, video diaries, presentations, written assignments, etc. The SLCE office will continue to host a service fair each semester. If you would like students in your class to present about the SL project in your class during the fair as part of their reflection you are welcome to do so. Contact the SLCE office for information and assistance.
  5. Ensuring that the project, or projects, in the class are connected to course learning objectives.
  6. Be approved by the Center for Service - Learning and Civic Engagement. To be approved the SLC E director will review your materials to ensure the project meets the objectives listed above.

Faculty who teach courses with SL, or SL optional designations will fill out the column on the registrars grade sheet noted “SL Comp” with the approximate number of hours the student devoted to the project at the end of each semester. This will allow the SLCE office and registrar to award credit appropriately on the transcript.

The SLCE office encourages faculty to contact them for assistance developing, revising , facilitating, or evaluating SL projects. 319-385-6365. servicelearning@iwc.edu