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Explain SL

How faculty present SL on the first day of class is very important. Here are some suggestions.

1. Plan What You Will Cover during the First Day/First Week

Here are a few suggestions:

Explain purpose

Explain what SL is, the reason you chose SL, and why you think it is important. Make sure you explain what you want the students to get out of it (the learning objectives).

  • Frame SL by using pre-service readings (optional)
  • Describe the specifics of the service/project
  • Describe the benefits students can look forward to
  • Unpack the community issue the service will addresses
  • Remind your students we are working with the community (not for), to achieve mutual benefit.

Describe connections

Describe how the SL relates to course theory, how you will help students make connections, how you expect them to demonstrate what they have learned from the service (journals, papers, presentations), and how they will be assessed.

Explain process

Explain how to engage with the community for this class

  • Mention the importance of follow-through with their agency commitments, and how real people will be impacted by their work.
  • Outline students’ next steps (how to get started, and by when). See Important dates.
  • Anticipate that students may face challenges with community partners. Consider reviewing with them the points on this handout about persistence. 
  • Provide tips for staying safe.
  • Anticipate that some students may ask for alternatives, and be ready to answer. SL staff recommends you consider providing an alternative for those students who are legitimately unable to participate
  • Review these Answers to Student FAQs to learn about some of the questions students might ask you during their SL experience

2. Invite SL Staff to Present

SL staff are happy to help you explain SL to your students and how to get started. Please plan two weeks in advance. Contact to make arrangements.

3. Invite Community Partners

Students respond positively to meeting community partners. Face-to-face contacts help students feel comfortable and excited about their SL experience. Community partners can provide brief agency overviews to your class.   SL staff can help coordinate the visit, provide parking validations, etc.   You can modify this DRAFT Letter to invite CPs to class.