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Design Your Service-Learning Course

Whether you want to brainstorm ideas for service-learning (SL) or start planning your course, this page outlines recommended steps and dates to keep in mind. The SL staff can assist you through the entire planning and implementation process.

Feel free to skip to Gaining SL Designation.

Before designing your SL course…

  1. Investigate SL (definition, examples, formats, etc.)
    See examples and SL project ideas from many disciplines
  2. Review and overview of the SL planning and designation process to see what’s involved
  3. Access staff support:  Contact the SL Director, Kara Brascia, to discuss what SL could look like in your course, what’s involved, and how SL staff can assist.

Ready to design your course?

1.  Start developing your syllabus

Review the syllabus checklist
Review sample syllabi for ideas

2.  Design the SL experience with community partners

Connect with community partners

3.  Integrate effective practices

Integrate reflection
Design SL assignments
Evaluate and assess; use rubrics

4. Apply for SL Designation

Apply for designation by submitting your SL Plan or SL Assignment, and your syllabus the SL Director (
Peer reviewers will use this
Reviewer Checklist to offer feedback along with formal SL designation approval. 

Before launching…

  1. Skim the implementation steps
  2. Plan how you will explain SL to students
  3. Participate in SL workshops and events during the year
  4. Think about risk, safety, and contract requirements (call SL staff, who know all about these things)

Extra Resources

FYI: full SL faculty video playlist