Faculty Invited to Register Courses for Service-learning Credit

The Office of Service-Learning invites faculty to register their J-Term and spring 2015 courses for service-learning credit. Faculty who are taking students off campus for experiential or service-based components are strongly encouraged to register their courses. There are many benefits for faculty and for students:

  • Current annual review, tenure and promotion policies in the College of Arts and Sciences recognize the offering of quality service-learning courses as meritorious. Only designated courses should count for this rating.
  • Doing service-learning entails risk. The Office of Service-Learning provides liability assistance for faculty engaging in the community.
  • The Office of Service-Learning publicizes designated courses on its website. Students who are looking for service opportunities will be able to find only courses that have gone through the designation process when they visit the service-learning page – ostensibly attracting a higher-caliber student who is searching for these opportunities to the classrooms of our service-learning faculty.
  • Faculty who designate courses are able to access budgetary and logistical support from the Office of Service-Learning, including pre- and post-experience surveys for assessment. Down the road, such assessment data might be useful when publishing an article on this potentially transformative pedagogy, thereby serving faculty research agendas.
  • Only faculty members who designate courses are eligible to be considered for the annual service-learning faculty award.

The steps to designate courses for service-learning are the following:

  1. Fill out the course designation form by clicking here.
  2. Email syllabi to the Office of Service-Learning at servicelearn@stthomas.edu.

Please note that courses must meet all the criteria below to be given the service-learning designation:

  • The service-learning component is integrated into the course content and learning objectives.
  • There are opportunities for structured reflection (written, verbal or other) about the service-learning experiences.
  • The service-learning activities are meaningful, relevant and intentionally linked to academic content.
  • The service-learning component benefits the common good and raises issues of social responsibility.
  • Both the community partner and the university benefit from the relationship. Expectations for each party are set.
  • The service-learning experience is required for all students.

In order for classes to be officially designated as service-learning, faculty must register with the Office of Service-Learning no later than Monday, Nov. 10. Upon approval by the subcommittee on course designation of the service-learning advisory board, the registrar’s office will then designate the course on students’ transcripts.

Questions or need further information? Please contact Erin McCloskey in the service-learning office at servicelearn@stthomas.edu or 651-962-5380.