Add Service Learning as an Option to a Course Grant

Purpose: This grant funds faculty members' efforts to modify the curriculum of an established course or create a new course to include a service-learning component.[1]  Service learning is a high impact practice that allows students an alternative mode for exploring course topics, and supplement professional development, by providing a minimum of 20 hours of service that meets an identified community need. Efforts are combined with reflective exercises to connect the service, and need, to the learning objectives for the course.   


Awards are open to all part-time/lecturers and full-time faculty members of all ranks (faculty members on early retirement [FERP] are not eligible). All, or any portion, of the funds may be used to compensate the faculty member who develops and implements the grant-funded activity.

Award amount: Up to $3,500 

Grant proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Quality: Degree to which service and reflection are integrated into course curricula, and not as extra credit or a side project in the class.
    • Describe the types of service activities that students will engage in. Include brief description of potential service assignment(s), plus specifics on expected work products and an explanation of how students will be prepared for their service placement.
    • How will this type of service promote student understanding of community engagement in relation to course topics and concepts?
    • What is the total number of hours of service to be required and why? (20 hrs. is minimum).  How many students will be able to participate, given this requirement?
    • Explain the reflection techniques used in the course as part of student assessment.
  • Community Needs/Engagement: Degree to which the service component addresses community-identified needs, issues, and/or organizational goals.
  • Sustainability:  Degree to which the class can be used as a model for successful service‐learning course integration in the discipline this proposal is focused on; additionally, if expansion of the community service learning (CSL) initiative across campus is also part of the goals, explain components.
  • Evaluation: Intent to evaluate impact and outcome of service learning as effective pedagogy. Note: Indicate if you are willing to use, and help pilot, any of the new interdisciplinary service learning outcomes, not required. See ICCE 2.0 Strategic Plan, p. 8. A student survey has been created via Qualtrics for this purpose and is being reviewed/finalized to launch starting spring 2019.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who will offer service-learning opportunities to lower-division students.

Note: An “officially designated CSL course” is defined as a course that has an approved CSL designation on file with the University Curriculum office and is stated in the SF State Bulletin as “[CSL may be an option]”. 

[1] Service learning offers students the chance to link academic study and course credit with community involvement and critical reflection. Students enrolled in a course offering a community service learning opportunity split their time between classroom instruction, service in the community, and reflection upon the service experience. Service learning is an instructional method that combines formal coursework with thoughtfully organized community service experiences and utilizes the service experience as a course “text” for both academic learning and civic learning. Service-learning courses address community-identified needs while helping students meet academic, social and civic learning goals.