Faculty Service Learning Toolkit

What is 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.


What is Service Learning - Sarah Taylor, PhD (2:56)

Selected Readings:

CSULB Policy on Service Learning

CSU Community-Engaged Learning Initiative

Community Partnerships

Critical Reflection


Technology & Remote Considerations

Civic Learning Outcomes



Example Syllabi


Help Using S4 @ The Beach

Frequently Asked Questions





Introducing the New CSULB Policy on Service Learning

The Cal State Long Beach Policy on Service Learning, Policy Number 19-13, was recently passed by the Academic Senate and became effective on November 5, 2019. "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." The policy sets forth the minimum requirements for a course to be certified as a service learning course.  All existing and future service learning courses will be reviewed by the Center for Community Engagement and should reflect the definition of service learning and incorporate the requirements as described within the policy in order to receive certification. For the full text of the policy, please go to the CSULB Policy on Service Learning (19-13).

Deadlines to Submit Courses for SL Certification (submit to CCE-SL@csulb.edu)

February 1st February 1st September 1st September 1st

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Apply Now for the Spring 2021 Service Learning Curriculum Design Series!

Application Deadline: February 10, 2021

Are you a tenured/tenure-track faculty or a full time lecturer interested in incorporating Service Learning into one of your courses? We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2020 Service Learning Curriculum Design workshop series. You should apply if you:

  • Want to incorporate Service Learning into an existing or new course that you will be teaching in the following Academic Year;
  • Have a general idea of how Service Learning would fit within your course;
  • Have identified potential community partner sites or types of sites appropriate for the course;
  • Have the support of your chair to teach the course in the future; and
  • Are able to attend all four curriculum workshops and complete workshop homework.

Experienced service learning faculty facilitate curriculum development workshops and provide individual consultation to assist interested faculty in developing new or revising existing courses to integrate service learning.  Curriculum Development Funds of up to $1,000 will be made available to faculty who complete a successful redesign of their course syllabus and teach the Service Learning course in the following Academic Year with the intention to teach the Service Learning course in future semesters. Completed courses will be reviewed for compliance with the CSULB Policy on Service Learning (#19-13).

Topics include:

  • Syllabus revision
  • Developing learning objectives for service-learning activities
  • Guided critical reflection
  • Developing appropriate community partnerships
  • Managing risk
  • CSULB Policy on Service Learning and certifying your service learning course

How to Apply:

  • Obtain a letter of support from your department chair that can be uploaded with the online application
  • Have a recent syllabus or SCO that can be uploaded with the online application (this is optional)
  • Go to the SL Curriculum Design Series Application.

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Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) Funds

Apply by February 5, 2021

The CCE offers IRA Funds to reimburse faculty and students for costs associated with service-learning/ community-based course activities that directly relate to the course’s service learning goals and objectives, are consistent with service learning best practices, and meet other criteria as detailed in our Procedures and Guidelines.

To apply for IRA Funds:

To receive reimbursement (IRA awardees):

Applications received by the initial deadline receive priority consideration although applications will be accepted after the initial deadline. Funds will be awarded based upon the criteria noted in the CCE IRA Service Learning Reimbursement Program Procedures and Guidelines and on the availability of funds.

Service Learning Faculty, are your service learning students covered by SAFECLIP or SPLIP, the university’s student liability insurance?

Your students are covered if:

  • Your course and community partners are included on S4 @ The Beach
  • Your students are registered for their placement sites onS4 @ The Beach
  • A service learning agreement is in place for your community partners.

If any one of these are not true for your service learning class, contact us immediately and we will be glad to assist you.

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