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]  Community Service Learning (CSL) is a high impact practice that allows students an alternative mode for exploring course topics by providing a minimum of 20 hours of service, during that one semester, meeting an identified community need. Efforts are combined with reflective exercises to connect the service and need to the course learning objectives.      

Eligibility: 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.

Grant proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Quality: Extent to which service and reflection are integrated into course curricula, and not as extra credit or a side project in the class.

  1. Describe the types of service activities students will engage in by including: brief description of potential service assignment(s), examples of expected work products, and explanation of how students will prepare for their service placement.

  2. How will the service-related opportunities promote student understanding of community engagement in relation to course topics and concepts?

  3. 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?

  4. 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 the organizational goals.

  • Sustainability:  Level at which the class can be used as a model for successful service learning class integration in the course-specific discipline. Additionally, explain if expansion of the CSL initiative across campus is also part of the goals, explain components.

  • Evaluation: Describe sample ways the impact and outcome of service learning will be an effective pedagogy. Note: Indicate if you are willing to use any of the new interdisciplinary service learning outcomes (encouraged but not required).
    See page 8 of the ICCE 2.0 Strategic Plan. A student survey has been created via Qualtrics for this purpose and was first launched in fall 2019.

  • Preference will be given to applicants who address one or all of the following:

           a) offer service-learning opportunities to lower-division students; and/or

           b) development of CSL remote/virtual experiences; and/or

           c) increase CSL opportunities with Black-led organizations or organizations that service the Black community.

Note: An “officially designated CSL course” is defined as a course that has been reviewed leading to an approved CSL designation on file with the University Curriculum office; the class is then stated in the SF State Bulletin as “[CSL may be an option]”. For more information, please visit: CSL Course Designation

[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.