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So, you’ve been assigned a service learning project for one of your classes. Now what?

Steps to a successful service learning project:

  1. Read through your syllabus.
  2. Ask your instructor for clarification on anything that may be confusing.
  3. Read through the Student Handbook.
  4. Contact the Service Learning Center with any questions in regards to the handbook.
  5. If you are contacting a community partner on your own,
    1. but don’t know where to start, contact the Service Learning Center for direction. When you do, make sure you have the syllabus handy to explain what you are looking for. The Service Learning Center won’t place you, but they will provide you with information to make decision and contacts on your own.
    2. from a list given to you by the instructor, don’t just start at the top! Research each partner to make sure they are who you want to work with. It makes for a more valuable experience.
  6. Contact your community partner.  Unless stated, call. Don’t just email, and don’t just call once. Our partners are very busy and it is your responsibility to make sure you follow up with them.
    1. If they are away when you call, ask when would be the next best time to reach them.
    2. Always leave your name, contact information, and reason for your call.  They may call you back before you have a chance to follow up.
  7. Meet with them in person to discuss the project. This also gives you an opportunity to tour their location and make sure it is what you want to do.
  8. Sign a contract with them (if required for your class).
    1. Even if not required for class, it may be helpful to outline all the tasks and parts of the project to ensure it doesn’t evolve into something you can’t do.
  9. Keep your commitments.
  10. If you’re going to be late, call ahead.
  11. If you’re going to be absent, call with at least 24/hours’ notice, if possible.
  12. Communicate with your instructor.
  13. Do reflections at the end of each day.
  14. Contact the Service Learning Center if, for whatever reason, the project or site turns out to be not a good fit for you.

Life is Big. Be Prepared.