Service learning is education that connects academic learning with meaningful service to the community. Students build civic and academic skills while strengthening communities through service.
There are many benefits to participating in service-learning projects. Through service learning, students will be able to:
- Apply class concepts and skills to real world problems
- Gain relevant experience and skills for future employment
- Develop professional and interpersonal skills
- Gain relevant experience
- Network with colleagues potential employers
- Meet new people and have new experiences
- Help others in the community
- Develop problem-solving and innovative/critical thinking skills.
Participation in Service Learning
Saint Paul College faculty and students work with service learning in a variety of ways. It can be a something you volunteer to do, or it can be a mandatory part of the class. Students can find a volunteering site on their own, or work on a project that’s set up by the instructor. Students learn about the requirements and options from the instructor if service-learning is part of the course.
There are three types of service learning experiences available through Saint Paul College: community organization placement, class-based events, and class-based projects.
Community organization placement
In this type of service-learning experience, students find and contact a community organization at which they would like to volunteer. Upon agreeing to serve at a community organization, students volunteer 10-30 hours over the course of the semester, and then have a reflection assignment like a paper, presentation or discussion at the end of the course. Some Spanish, Child Development, and Interpersonal Communication courses have this type of service as a part of the class.
For students who need to contact an organization and set up your volunteer service, follow these steps:
- Browse the Community Partner List that is provided through the course’s Desire to Learn (D2L) page and find an organization that has hours and location work for you.
- Contact the organization. Keep in mind appropriate phone and email etiquette when contacting the professionals at the organization.
- When you commit to your organization, print and fill out the Service Learning Agreement (PDF) [link to PDF]. Submit the completed agreement to your instructor.
- Discuss expectations and possible follow up assignments with the instructor.
- Document weekly hours worked on the form Service Learning Activity Log (PDF).
- Upon completion of the service learning commitment, obtain the community partner supervisor’s signature on the Service Learning Activity Log (PDF) and submit completed log to the instructor.
In this type of service-learning experience, students work with a nonprofit partner and their clients at an event that is organized by Saint Paul College or the instructor. Students might prepare for the event under the direction of the instructor, with a follow-up discussion or assignment afterward. For example, some culinary courses have events with a nonprofit partner in which after school program children come to the College to cook with the culinary students and share a meal together.
If the service learning experience is arranged by the instructor, follow these steps:
- Print and fill out the Service Learning Agreement (PDF). Submit completed agreement to your instructor.
- Discuss expectations with the instructor and complete and required follow up assignments.
In this type of service learning experience, students will work with classmates on a project under the direction of the instructor. The class, or a group of students from the class, will work on a project for a nonprofit partner client. For example, the Carpentry and Cabinetmaking programs have nonprofit partner projects that are part of the coursework each year.
For more information
If you have questions or would like more information about service learning at Saint Paul College, please contact Celeste Mazur, Service Learning Coordinator, at 651.846.1373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.