As approved by the Academic Senate, the Provost and the President,
the following provides a context for the development of approved
service-learning courses at California State University, Fresno.
Definition: Service-learning is academic study linked to community
service through structured reflection so that each reinforces the
other. The academic study may be in any discipline or combination
of fields. The service may address a variety of community needs
including direct service to people in need, improvement of community
resources, community outreach and education, or policy analysis.
Policy: With approval of the Service-Learning Development Committee
and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, courses that meet the
guidelines below may be designated as service-learning courses by
having the course number followed by the letter S.
Guidelines: Designation as a service-learning course will require
A. Appropriate academic study is the primary focus of all S courses.
The service-learning component is a support to the academic focus
of a specific course.
B. The course will have a mechanism to introduce the service ethic,
through various methods: guided readings, experiential class period,
a workshop using Students for Community Service as a resource, or
C. A requirement of at least 10 hours of academically relevant
community service which contributes directly to the student's grade.
D. A mechanism, such as a paper or presentation, which relates
the experiential learning of community service to specific course
E. Structured opportunities for critical reflection on the service
California State University, Fresno
Procedures for Service-Learning (S) Designation
The following guidelines and recommendations
are designed to guide faculty and departments in obtaining a service-learning
or “S” designation for a course.
Please know that assistance is available at every step
of the process. It is recommended that you contact either Richard
Berrett, Chair of the Service-Learning Development Committee (278-5140
or email@example.com) or Chris Fiorentino, Director of Students
for Community Service (278-7079 or firstname.lastname@example.org) with
Before proceeding with any requests to
have a course designated as a service-learning (S) course, you
should carefully read and consider all points on the attached
“Service-Learning Designation Considerations”.
(See attachment A.)
II. Those faculty/departments that would like
to obtain an “S” designation should go through the normal procedures
to obtain an undergraduate course change or approval of a new
course. These procedures include:
Complete an “Undergraduate Course Change Request” or “Undergraduate
Course Proposal” with accompanying support. In the
case of an S course, support materials must address the criteria
established to become an “S” course.
(See attachment B)
Obtain Department Chair Signature.
Obtain School/College Curriculum Committee signature.
Obtain Dean’s Signature.
Submit the change request, documentation,
and signatures to the Associate Provost.
Before forwarding to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
or General Education Committee, the Associate Provost will submit
the material to the Service-Learning Development Committee for
evaluation of the “S” designation criteria response.
IV. If approved, the change request will be
returned to the Associate Provost for distribution to the UGC
and, if appropriate, GE committees.
These committees will treat the change request as they
do all others. If the request is not approved by the Service-Learning
Development Committee, committee representatives will work with
the applicant to make appropriate changes so that the “S” criteria
can be fully met.
Attachment A - Service-Learning Designation
There are several issues that departments should
consider before seeking a service-learning (S) designation. Of course, the most important considerations are the appropriateness
of service-learning for the course in question and how the “S”
designation criteria will be met.
In addition to those critical issues, the following are
some questions departments should consider.
1. Will all sections include a service-learning
component, or just a majority of sections?
It is anticipated that,
in considering a course for an “S” designation, that it is the
belief of the department faculty that service-learning will significantly
assist in reaching the learning objectives of the course.
Therefore, unless there are specific reasons why certain
sections should be excluded, it is recommended that all sections
include a service-learning component.
If all sections
will include a service-learning component, the Undergraduate Course
Change Request form should be used and the box for “Revision”
checked. In effect, this will replace the existing course with the new “S”
If only some of the sections
will include a service-learning component, the
“Undergraduate Course Proposal” should be used to create
a new course for “S” designated sections.
In effect, this will mean that there will be two courses,
the existing non-S version and the new “S” version.
For example, there would be a COMM 8 and COMM 8S course
approved for offering. (It is not necessary to submit a course proposal
for the existing non-S version.)
To avoid many of the
potential challenges involved, it is recommended that departments
use the UGC/GE approved course proposal and syllabus as a basis
for any new course change or new course proposal.
Generally, these previously approved documents can be modestly
adapted to fit the S requirements.
certain sections of the course will not include a service-learning
component, which ones will be excluded and why?
Your “S” designation
proposal will need to clearly articulate how many and which sections
will be excluded and why.
3. What changes will need to be made to catalog
copy as a result of the proposed revisions?
For courses that will
include a service-learning component in all sections, the
revised catalog description should end with “Formerly
” ( insert non-S course designation and number).
For courses where S and
non-S sections will exist simultaneously, it is suggested that
the department describe both S and non-S courses with the same
catalog description. If not, the revised catalog description for
both S and non-S courses should state “Same as ”.
Example: Communication 8 or 8S - Group
Discussion (3): Communication
in group thinking and problem solving through preparation and
presentation of panels and symposia on public issues.
G.E. Foundation A1. S
sections include a service-learning requirement (see page 47). (Formerly SPCH 8)
If this course has been accepted for the General Education
will adding the S designation
affect its ability to meet and/or exceed the
requirements of the General
Education Program? Departments
should respond to this question in some detail and specificity. Successful responses will, at least in part,
focus on student outcomes and on the basic requirements listed
for every General Education course.
Attachment B - S Criteria
California State University,
Justification for an S designation
Revised November 2002
In spring 1999, the Academic Senate approved
guidelines by which courses may obtain recognition as a service-learning
course. The following
are guidelines to obtain the S designation for courses. For a
course to obtain the “S” designation, the following justifications
must be addressed in writing as part of the “S” designation proposal
from your department.
Preamble: This policy
will provide the option of approving service-learning courses
within departments which offer courses that meet the requirements.
is community service linked to academic study through structured
reflection so that each reinforces the other. The academic study may be in any discipline
or combination of fields. The
service may address a variety of community needs including direct
service to people in need, improvement of community resources,
applied research, community outreach and education, or policy
Policy: Courses that
meet the guidelines below will be designated as service-learning
courses by having the course number followed by the letter S.
as a service-learning course will require that the following criteria
be met (A-E). Please specifically
address each of the associated justifications in your application.
academic study is the primary focus of all S courses. The service- learning component is a support to the academic focus.
What is the academic nature of the course?
Define how service learning will be a component which supports
this academic focus
course will have a mechanism to introduce the service ethic, through
various methods: guided readings, experiential class period, a
workshop using Students for Community Service as a resource, or
will the service-learning assignment will be introduced to the
students This statement should include reference to
the source(s) and procedures which will be followed to reinforce
the service ethic.
C. A requirement of a minimum of 10
hours of academically relevant community service which contributes
to the student's course grade.
provide a description of:
(1) where the service-learning assignment
will be completed; (2) what typical activities will be performed;
(3) the length of time students will be required to serve; (4)
how verification of service hours will be competed; (5) how this
requirement contributes to course grading.
D. A mechanism, such as a paper or presentation,
which relates the experiential
learning of community service to specific
will the student demonstrate the integration of the service-learning
assignment with the course curriculum?
E. Structured opportunities for critical reflection
on the service experience.
will a critical self-analysis or reflection be integrated into
the course? (Reflecting on the service experience is most
effective when it is completed before, during and after service-learning