Benefits of Service-Learning
Agency Expectations
Community Quotes and Testimonials

Benefits of Service-Learning

  • Partnerships with service-learning classes bring additional resources, energy, new ideas, and positive challenges to the community.
  • Partnerships will increase awareness and recognition of partnering community organizations.

In Spring 2014 students from FHSU's Department of Agriculture worked on the Larned Community Garden. It's a win-win situation: the community benefits from knowledgeable, eager students and the students to gain invaluable, practical, hands-on experience (see the video below).

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Service-Learning Agency Checklist


  • Learn about the service-learning key components.
  • Check to see if your agency is listed in our agency database. If not, please fill out our online form to register your agency.
  • Meet with the service-learning staff at the Center for Civic Leadership. They will be able to provide you with information about which faculty members are teaching service-learning courses.
  • Review the service-learning course of interest with the faculty member and evaluate whether your needs are consistent with the learning objectives of the class.
  • Design a thorough description of skills required for the service-learners.
  • Design an outline for the assigned work. Remember that the assigned work is intended to be meaningful and should tie into the academic content. Include the requirements and expectations of the service-learner.
  • Discuss the details of the partnership with the faculty member that is teaching the service-learning course. This will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and tailor the goals to be consistent.
  • Create forms such as time sheets, student evaluation forms, goal list and schedule if you feel that they will be beneficial to the process.


  • Work with faculty member to organize a time to present your agency's needs to the entire class.
  • Review with the students the organization's mission, goals, expectations, history, and philosophy. This will help them to understand their role within the organization. During this time, explain how your organization plans to address the issues of the community. Provide handouts, fact sheets, articles, etc.
  • After students have signed on with your organization, orientate them to the requirements and expectations of your organization for them.
  • Set up meeting times throughout the semester. This is a good way to monitor progress and answer questions that the service-learners might have.


  • Talk with the students about their experiences.
    • Example questions:
      "Do you feel like you are making a difference? How?"
      "How does this project relate to the course work required for your service-learning course?"
  • The faculty member will also conduct reflection throughout the course. Examples of reflection methods are as follows:
    • Journal Entries
    • Essay Writing
    • Readings
    • Class Discussion
    • Online Discussion
    • Small-Group Discussion
    • Classroom Presentation by Agency Staff Member(s)
    • Panel Discussion (agency staff and/or their clients/participants)
    • Training Session
    • On-Site Visit/Observation
    • Video Watching
    • Staged Debate
    • Presentations by Students from a Previous Semester
    • Research/Internet Browsing on the Related Social Issues
  • Possibly attend reflection session with the faculty member and class.


  • Did this collaboration between your agency and the student team meet the goals for the project?
  • Did the participants gain from the experience?
  • Did your attitudes, beliefs, or values shift in any way?
  • Consider what you would change and discuss it with the service-learning faculty member.
  • Turn in any student evaluation forms.

Key Points to Remember

  1. Take time to recruit the team. This part is included in the preparing part of the checklist. It is important to make arrangements with the faculty member in advance. Also, make time to present your project to the entire class.
  2. Size the job to match the skill level. Service-learning is more than typing skills and filing papers. This is meant to be a meaningful experience where the learning boundaries are extended beyond the classroom.
  3. Don't let the team run on autopilot. Don't leave success to chance. This is a relationship that has to be facilitated and encouraged. It's easy to put off goals and then chance the quality of the project because a team may be trying to "just get it done".
  4. Move Fast. Set goals through the entire semester and evaluate and celebrate those goals accomplished.
  5. Encourage Creativity. Use the synergy of a team to accomplish great creative capital.
  6. Turn in documentation for student work at the end of the project.
  7. Communicate regularly with the faculty member throughout the course.
    (adapted from Boise State University service-learning website)

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Community Quotes and Testimonials

"Susan created posters and press releases for four movies that will be part of our summer reading program for young adults. They are exactly what we needed. It saved us taking the time to create them and are of a higher quality than we would have done! She also listened carefully to what we needed and made sure to include that in her creations. This could not have been better."
--Anne Millhollen, Librarian, Hays Public Library

"Rebecca created a newsletter for the Learning Center. She acted professionally and did what she said she would do. It's a great project. Send us more students like Rebecca."
--Maria Deines, ESL Instructor, The Learning Center

"The newsletter was WONDERFUL! Robyn was a great asset this year! I like the idea of having students volunteer."
--Bev Rucker, Librarian, Hoxie Public Library

"Marcy's work helped us a lot. We only have so many hours to get things done, and her work helped us do some extra things."
--Mary Smith, Chapter Manager, Thomas County Chapter of the American Red Cross

"Quality [of the brochure] is excellent. Deanna learned to appreciate the volunteers who gave their time and services to this organization and the community. Young people need to learn about volunteering in their communities so they can be an asset to their community.
--Lyn Leach, Board Secretary, Lucas Area Community Theater

"Joanna designed a brochure for the library containing last year's statistics and services provided by the library. The brochure will be sent out to the people of Bison as a way of communicating the library's services."
--Diane Bott, Librarian, Bison Community Library

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