Skip to main content

Roles & Responsibilities

Successful service-learning is a partnership among agencies, faculty, students, and SL staff.  Each partner has different goals and roles, so communication is essential. The outline below is a sketch of what many partnerships agree to.

Cathy McDougall receiving Outstanding Community Partner award
Cathy McDougall (AARP) receiving the “Outstanding Community Partner” award at the SL in Action Poster Session

THE AGENCY PARTNER (Nonprofit Organization) will…

Designate a SL supervisor to serve as the liaison with the faculty and the Service-Learning students, and often with SL staff.

  • Discuss SL project goals and parameters with faculty
  • Orient students to the agency partners’ rules, policies, procedures, methods and operations, community issue, and population served.
  • Check-in formally with the faculty and students at regular intervals (recommended: beginning, middle and end of semester AT THE MINIMUM).


Kara Brascia announcing award winners
Program Director Kara Brascia announcing award winners at the SL Poster Session
  • Recruit, support, and facilitate faculty, students, and agency SL partnerships
  • Find, screen, and orient agencies whose needs match class learning objectives
  • Provide orientations, trainings, and roundtables about Service-Learning
  • Facilitate student placement through classroom visits and agency referral lists
  • Provide contracts and forms that clarify responsibilities and increase accountability
  • Support and troubleshoot with students, agencies, and faculty
  • Maintain regular contact with agency partners, faculty, and students (at beginning, middle, and end of semester). E-mail upcoming opportunities and information
  • Seek and respond to feedback from agency partners, Service-Learners, and faculty


  • Set learning objectives for the service experience that relate to course objectives
  • Identify community issues or service that relates to the class
  • Contact  agencies to clarify course goals, service expectations, and timelines
  • Adapt syllabus, class assignments, lecture examples, and class discussion to include links between course theory and service experience.
  • Structure reflection discussions or assignments
  • Discuss the SL expectations and requirements, agency orientation dates, deadlines for starting service, and evaluation guidelines with students
  • Maintain regular contact with agency partners (recommended: beginning, middle, and end of semester)
  • Evaluate students’ SL experiences (SL staff can assist)


students working at exhibition guides for the Discover Center of Idaho
Service-Learning student working with the Discovery Center of Idaho as an exhibit guide
  • Attend agency orientation
  • Track hours, if required
  • Maintain regular communication with agency partner regarding service hours and activities
  • Respect rules, regulations, and confidentiality standards of agency
  • Participate in reflection discussions and assignments
  • Complete required amount of service hours and/or service project
  • Evaluate SL experience (SL staff can help)