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The Service-Learning Journey

In a Service-Learning class at Boise State? Here's roadmap of what to expect along the way.

Service Learning

on 12 September 2013

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Transcript of The Service-Learning Journey

The Service-Learning Journey
Preparing for Your Journey...
What is

Week 1
Weeks 2-5
Weeks 6-14
Congratulations on completing Your Service-Learning Journey!
It is time to select a site, what do I need to know?
I am serving at my site, what do I need to do?
Week 15
The semester is over, now what?
It's the first week of class, What do I need to do?
image created by Casidyrose
image created by Jean Marc Lim
image created by Gary Tanner
image created by jill goodell
Tips for a successful service-learning experience
image created by Dav Yaginuma
Choose a Project & Register
Take Advantage of the Opportunity
Service-Learning can be challenging, but it is also a great way to:
Be open to the experience!
...so when in doubt, take a minute and think to yourself "could this be me?"
Professionalism means a lot of things, but what it really boils down to is this:
Be Professional
You will be working with real people, and your actions have a real affect on their lives...
I'm in a Service-Learning class, what does this mean?
Attend Orientation
Track Your Hours
Student-Initiated Projects
Here's what Boise State students are saying about Service-Learning....
said that
Service-Learning helped them gain practical experience
A few words students use to describe their Service-Learning experience
would recommend Service-Learning to a fellow student
said that
Service-Learning helped them understand the concepts and theories of the subject
1,200 students surveyed
What is Service-Learning?
Encounter people who have different life experiences and perspectives than you,
examine your own preconceptions and stereotypes and take responsibility for them,
reach out of your comfort zone, and develop new professional skills.
Read Your Syllabus!
Ask Questions
You will find the answers to most of your initial questions there, including:
How many service hours do I need to complete?
What is the deadline for completing my hours?
How does service-learning relate to my class?
Is service-learning required or optional?
Can I choose to do an alternative assignment instead of service-learning?
A Few More Tips
When things go wrong, leave excuses at home! Instead, offer a plan of action. Instructors and community partners are much more interested in what your plan is than in the reasons behind it.
Don't procrastinate! The longer you wait to get started and plan your service, the more difficult your life becomes
Check your BSU student email regularly! Even if this is not your primary email, this is the method that faculty and community partners will use to contact you. Use it!
(Trust us on this)
If you still have questions after reading the syllabus, ASK!
Ask questions in class, visit your instructor during office hours, or send them an email.
Contact a friendly service-learning staff member- we are here to help you! Call us, email us, drop by the office, whatever works for you.
Visit the service-learning website: we offer lots of resources for students with questions.
To sign up for a project using the Service-Learning system, view our handy "how-to" video:
If you will be using the Service-Learning system, sign up as soon as possible. Projects fill up fast!
Take a Moment...
Service-learning can be daunting and intimidating for many students. Take a few moments to think about the following questions to help you prepare for the semester:
What would you like to gain from this experience?
What skills and strengths can you bring to your project?
What are some potential difficulties you might encounter during your service?
What kinds of service experiences have you had (if any)? What did you like most about them? Least?
In 2010-2011
Students participated in a service-learning course and provided

hours of service to the Treasure Valley community
That is

in staffing power!
Boise State offered service-learning in

courses, representing every college on campus
Orientation times are noted in your project registration as well as your agency agreement*
*Some community partners will ask you to contact them to set up an individual orientation time; if so, this will also be noted in your registration and agency agreement
Your orientation will answer many of the most common questions students have about their service, including:
Why is orientation important?
You can't start serving with your community partner until you have attended their orientation!
An introduction to the community partner's mission, and details about their program;
specific tasks you will be performing, and the benefit of the project to the agency and population served,
specific expectations, policies and procedures related to your service project;
logistic details: e.g. parking, check-in and time tracking, background checks, risk and safety guidelines;
staff information and relevant contact details.
Some instructors MAY allow you to seek out your own community partner and service project
If you choose to create a student-initiated project, it is YOUR responsibility to:
Confirm instructor approval

Demonstrate how your project connects to your course learning objectives

Discuss project details, risk management, and safety with your community partner
Note: The Service-Learning Program is not liable or responsible for student-initiated service projects.
Can I serve at an agency not matched with my class?
I can't attend the orientation for the project I really want. What do I do?
First, consider the other projects carefully. If no other project is suitable, call the agency to ask if they are willing to schedule a separate orientation for you.*
*NOTE: This is a significant request; the agency is not obliged to accomodate you. Ask nicely, and try to be understanding if the answer is "no".
The project I want to sign up for is full. What are my options?

First, consider other open projects carefully.

If you are set on a project that is full, contact the Service-Learning office to discuss the possibility of opening a slot for you.
It is vital that you work with your instructor to ensure the service project meets course learning objectives.
Click here to view our "Top Ten Tips for Student-Initiated Projects" and to access a Student-Initated Project Form:
Most instructors ask students to use the "Time Log Sheet" located here:
Be sure to have an agency representative sign your form each time you serve!
Fulfill Your Committment
Practice your professional skills by being:
and willing to work through challenges
local and national government policies,
your own values system,
broader social issues,
To concepts you are learning in your course,
Use class assignments, activities, and informal conversations with your community partner to relate your experience:
Connect Your Service
Having trouble with your service? The following are common challenges and suggestions for how to address them...
and how you can affect change.
I haven't started my service hours!
Most community partners ask that you begin your service by week 5 of the semester.
Contact the agency to discuss your options for completing your service hours.
The agency is under no obligation to accomodate your hours late in the semester.

Offer a plan for completing your hours, and try to be understanding if the answer is "No".
If you are having trouble communicating with your agency, contact the Service-Learning Office
Be proactive! The later it gets, the fewer options you will have to complete your hours.
Call the Service-Learning Office for assistance
(208) 426-1004
If the agency hasn't contacted you within THREE business days
For both email and voicemail:
Be sure to include your FULL name, phone number(s), and best time to reach you
Be Persistent!
Community partners wear many hats and have extremely busy schedules. Here are some tips for successful communication with your community partner:
Communication Challenges
Call during business hours, AND send an email as a backup
*If you don't hear back within TWO business days, call AND email again.
Work to resolve challenges with your existing community partner as early as possible
I Want to Switch Agencies
The agency is not a good fit, I am encountering issues with my service, my schedule has changed, etc.
If you are not sure how to do this, speak to your instructor or contact the Service-Learning Office for assistance
Be proactive!
You MUST get the approval of your instructor

NOTE: The new agency will have to invest time and resources to accomodate you, so:

You must be willing to serve at least TEN hours with the new agency.
Still want to switch?
First, try to resolve your concerns with your community partner
If you must switch agencies, do so as soon as possible; if you wait too long, there may not be any options left for you
Orientation FAQs
I missed my orientation. What should I do?
It is your responsibility to call the agency ASAP to apologize and request another appointment.*
*NOTE: The agency is not obligated to make special arrangements for missed orientations. Contact the Service-Learning Office if the agency cannot accomodate you.
Complete Our Evaluation
Before your hours are complete, take time to:
Prepare for Closure
Prepare clients and staff for your departure, so they don't wonder where you disappeared to.
If you have decided to continue volunteering with your agency, that is fantastic!
All of that adds up to engaged students, a stronger community, and changed lives.
Registration FAQs
I can't log-in to register in the Service-Learning system...

If your last name has a hyphen, apostrophe, or Jr./Sr., enter your last name with and without these elements
If your last name has changed recently, try your former name as well as your current name
Double check your student ID number
Still having trouble? Contact the Service-Learning Office
Find a Good Match
*If your instructor has a different process, check your syllabus for instructions or contact them for details.
Most instructors ask their students to sign up for a project using the Service-Learning website*
We have worked with your instructor to try and provide a diverse range of service locations, times, and types.
Take some time to review the available projects and consider:
...what do I do?
"...email address is already associated with a different ID"
Check your syllabus or ask your instructor how they would like you to track your service hours.
Service-Learning staff will send you a survey asking for your feedback on your experience.
We value your feedback and use it to improve Service-Learning for all students
It only takes a few minutes, and it makes a huge impact!
What community issue(s) interest you? (What do you get excited about?)
What project would provide you the greatest learning opportunity? (go outside your box!)
When are you available to serve? (evenings, days, weekends)
What are your location and transportation needs?
What skills/talents would you like to share? Which would you like to develop?
How might you address these challenges?
(208) 426-1004
(208) 426-1004
(Just be sure to let the clients and staff know about your plans)
(208) 426-1004
(208) 426-1004
Saying Goodbye
We suggest that you talk to your companion about approaching the end of your time together.
How do I transition out of my service if I am working with vulnerable populations and/or have established personal relationships?
It’s important that you bring closure to your relationship!
You may give companion a small symbolic gift (a poem, a greeting card, etc.).
Sometimes you can even plan a little celebration together, to celebrate your service with them.
"You're Welcome"
"One Hour at a Time"
"Be Present"
"Communication Fail"
"Gettin' Real With Dr. Bob"
"Sticky McGee's Rules of Dressing Professionally"
Full transcript