Policy Statement - 19-13 Service Learning, Policy on

Policy Number: 19-13

November 5, 2019


This policy statement was recommended by the Academic Senate on October 10, 2019 and approved by the President on October 28, 2019.

1.0       Introduction

This policy establishes guidance on Service Learning (SL) for the entire campus. It addresses the approval process and the role of the Center for Community Engagement (CCE). This policy does not apply to teacher preparation placements or clinical placements in professional programs

2.0       Definition of Service Learning

Service Learning is a high impact teaching approach utilizing community-based experiential learning to connect theory and practice through critical reflection. Service Learning emphasizes learning through community service activities that are fundamental to course outcomes.

Service Learning provides benefit to students as well as community partners by promoting sustainable campus-community relationships that enhance student learning and address community-identified needs. Students develop their academic and critical thinking skills, gain a deeper understanding of course content, and develop an enhanced sense of civic engagement and social justice. Service Learning benefits both the campus and the community by developing a culture that promotes civic engagement and social justice, deepening student learning, meeting community-identified needs, and by forming mutually beneficial partnerships that expand opportunities for our campus to contribute to the public good.

Executive Order No. 1064, which establishes guidelines for campus internship policy and procedures and delegates responsibility for implementation to the campus president, states, “An internship formally integrates the student’s academic study with practical experience in a cooperating organization. It is an off-campus activity designed to serve educational purposes by offering experience in a Service Learning, business, non-profit, or government setting.” (EO 1064, September 9, 2011).

3.0 Requirements

Instructors in Service Learning-designated courses will integrate a substantial Service Learning component that meets course requirements as outlined below, and has been approved by CCE. As a “High Impact Practice,” Service Learning involves a strong commitment from instructors in the planning and coordination of these types of experiential learning opportunities, representing an investment for the benefit of students (see Collective Bargaining Agreement 20.3.b).

A Service Learning course must meet, at a minimum, the following requirements:

  1. The Service Learning component is articulated in the course syllabus , learning objectives and/or outcomes and integrated throughout the course requirements (projects, assignments, presentations, exams, etc.);
  2. The course requires a minimum of 20 hours of service for each enrolled student spread throughout the semester in which the course is offered. Hours must be reported by students and tracked by faculty and the current campus data tracking management system;
  3. The course incorporates regular opportunities for oral and written reflection on the learning components of students’ community service throughout the semester;
  4. The course provides opportunities for sustainable and reciprocal campus-community partnerships and provides mutual benefits for the both the students and community;
  5. The current CSULB risk management and affiliation agreement process requires that the CCE initiate and complete the formalization of Service Learning Affiliation Agreements between Community Partners and our campus Service Learning Program, while providing authority to the CCE for final “sign off,” thereby completing the approval process. In consultation with the CCE, for each section, the instructor must complete Service Learning Affiliation Agreements with community partner sites, in conformity with CSULB risk management requirements and Chancellor’s Office Executive Order 1064 (EO 1064).

In order to support faculty and students, College and Department Curriculum Committee Chairs may consult with the Executive Director of the CCE regarding any of the above Service Learning components.

The CCE will maintain and update best practice guidelines and tools on an on-going basis to serve as resources for interested faculty members and committees. While responsibility for intellectual content of courses resides with the faculty, CCE provides technical certification as below.

4.0       Certification

New course syllabi will be certified to carry a Service Learning (SL) designation by the Director of Center for Community Engagement. In order to request this certification, faculty must submit the proposed syllabus to the Director, as well as any other information the Director might reasonably request. The request (and syllabus) must be submitted by September 1 for spring and summer and February 1 for fall and winter and the Director shall respond within three weeks. If the Director rejects the request, the faculty member may appeal to the Service Learning Committee. This committee shall have six members: the Director of CCE, three faculty members selected by the Academic Senate (preferably faculty with experience teaching Service Learning courses), one staff member selected by the Staff Council, and one student selected by ASI. Each selecting body may choose the selection process and duration of service of their members. Without certification, the SL designation is null and void. Only courses approved for the SL designation will be incompliance with EO 1064. Course syllabi previously designated SL must be certified under the new policy.

If SL requirements (e.g., community partner) change after the course is first offered, the course will need to be re-certified before it is offered in its new iteration. CCE will monitor course compliance with SL requirements each semester a course is offered using the current campus data tracking management system. In consultation with the department, CCE may decertify SL classes that are out of compliance. Departments may also, at any time, request removal of the SL designation of one or more of its courses through CCE.

The Program Assessment and Review Council (PARC) will evaluate Service Learning as a CSULB high-impact practice and the role of CCE as an Academic Support Unit every seven (7) years.

EFFECTIVE: Immediately