The purpose of this toolkit is to provide you with information, references, and resources that you may find helpful in creating, organizing, and implementing a Service Learning experience within your classroom. The Service Learning Center is located on both the Kenosha and Racine campuses with an AmeriCorps*VISTA member hosting the information until further notice. Our role is to help you find community partners to work with, assist in the placement of students, or to help answer questions you might have. We are here to be as much or as little help as you want.
What is Service Learning?
Service learning is similar to volunteering in that students are giving their time and skills to meet a community need and complete a project at a non-profit organization or community partner. The main differences are that students must be a part of a project that is meaningful and relative to their area of study; and that students must complete a reflection at the end of their experience that makes them think about what they did, why they did it, how it matters to their goals and the community's needs, and what it will matter 5 years from now.
What is Your Role?
As a faculty member, your role is to provide students with structure and guidance to process and reflect upon their service learning experiences. Also, you are to assist students in connecting their community-based learning experience with course learning objectives. You are also to participate in an evaluation process between the student, community partner, and the Service Learning Center.
Your Student's Role…
- Is to be aware of the organization's needs and to provide assistance where and when it is needed.
- Is to contact the agency to arrange the initial meeting to discuss the service learning hours and project (The Service Learning Center can assist with this role).
- Is to adhere to the organization's rules and procedures, including the confidentiality of the organization and client information.
- Is to periodically reflect upon and reevaluate the service learning experience while keeping in mind the objectives of all parties involved.
- Is to operate with integrity and professionalism at all times; which includes being punctual, meeting deadlines and being open to supervision and feedback which will facilitate learning and personal growth.
The Service Learning Center's Roles
The Service Learning Center is to act as a liaison between the organization, students, and faculty. We provide support and guidance for any challenges that may arise. We also act as a third contact in case of difficulties, challenges, or other problems that may arise at the community site for both community partner and student. We provide classroom service learning orientations and reflection sessions as requested. We assist with placing students into organizations or finding projects to suit the student. We also provide forms, instructions, resources, and materials that students, faculty, and the community partners may need/request for their service learning experience.