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San Francisco State University

Designation Policy For Community Service Learning Courses

Summary

The faculty senate on Academic Year 2002-2003 approved that all Community Service Learning (CSL) courses be identified in the SFSU Bulletin and Class Schedule with a special (CSL) designation. The designation will assist students in locating courses that have a CSL option since they will have the opportunity to have the hours served in an agency as part of their CSL course in their Official Transcript and will also assist the Office of Academic Planning with their reporting requirements.

Community service learning (CSL) offers students the chance to link academic study and course credit with community involvement and critical reflection. Students enrolled in a course offering a community service learning opportunity split their time between classroom instruction, service in the community, and reflection upon the service experience. Community service learning enhances academic learning by allowing students to make connections between their academic study and its application, to clarify their career goals and acquire work related skills, to develop a heightened sense of civic responsibility and awareness of moral and ethical issues, and to provide work of value to the community. The service experienced is informed by knowledge from the discipline and is integrated into the course through readings, projects, class presentations, meaningful and on-going reflection.

COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARING POLICY

  1. Definition:

    Service learning is an academic study linked to community service through structured reflection so that each reinforces the other. The academic study may be in any discipline. The service may address a variety of community needs.

  2. Minimum criteria for designation of service learning courses:

    The OCSL Steering Committee* composed of one faculty member from each college and the Director of OCSL will be responsible for assigning the designation. To obtain the designation, each course must meet the following criteria:
    1. The course involves students in service activities or projects with external communities that are responsive to community needs. Students who choose the CSL option must complete no less than 20 hours per academic term of direct academically relevant community service.
    2. The course includes academic topics that directly address questions related to the activities of the students.
    3. The course requires student reflection on the interrelationships between course content, concepts, and objectives and community-based learning activities.

  3. Procedures for approving designation as a service learning course:

    A department seeking a CSL designation of a course will send the following documentation to the OCSL Faculty Committee:
    1. A statement of how the course or section(s) meet(s) the minimum criteria set forth in Section 2.
    2. A brief description of the probable service assignment(s), including specifics on hours and/or work products expected, and an explanation of how students will be prepared for their service placement.
    3. An explanation of how the instructor will integrate learning from this particular community service learning experience into course discussion and assignments, including a statement of how learning from a service will be evaluated.
    4. Current CSL courses will be reviewed with the new criteria.

  4. Notification of approved courses:

    1. OCSL will inform each Department of its decision. Departments will then follow University procedures for review and approval of new or revised courses. The completed Course Proposal and Revision Form will include the course description with a CSL designation for the Bulletin. Departments will follow University procedures for preparing the next class schedule and include a footnote for CSL designated courses. If multiple sections of the same course are offered, only those with a CSL components will be so identified.
    2. Once designated, a course will maintain its designation for three years unless the Department asks to remove it. At the end of this period, the Department will be asked to resubmit its request.
    3. The designation will appear in the Bulletin and Class Schedule as a (CSL) footnote.
Bulletin Copy of the Revised Program

Inserted into the Bulletin under Resources and Support Services will be the following paragraphs:
Community service learning (CSL) offers students the chance to link academic study and course credit with community involvement and critical reflection. Community service learning enhances academic learning by allowing students to make connections between their academic study and its application, to clarify their career goals and acquire work related skills, to develop a heightened sense of civic responsibility and awareness of moral and ethical issues, and to provide work of value to the community.

Opportunities to participate in CSL exist throughout the curriculum. To assist students in identifying courses that provide this opportunity, such courses will be designated with an (CSL). The (CSL) indicates that either the entire course is geared toward community service learning or it has a service learning lab, project option, or module. Students enroll in CSL courses by following the regular methods described in the Class Schedule.

Interested students should check departments and courses they are interested in for the (CSL) designation and consult the Bulletin and/or contact the department or faculty member in charge for specific course information. There are over 45 departments currently offering CSL opportunities, with most courses accepting students from any major. Some CSL courses fulfill general education and/or major requirements.

The Office of Community Service Learning, part of the San Francisco Urban Institute, is the campus unit responsible for coordinating campus community service learning activities. For more information about CSL, call 338-6846.

* OCSL Faculty Committee composed of Director of OCSL and one faculty member from each College. Each Dean appoints one faculty member to this committee for two years. Faculty Committee is responsible for Designation Policy, reviewing OCSL Awards, mini-grants, scholarships, and other OCSL policies as needed.

Unanimously Approved by the Academic Senate at its meeting on April 1, 2003. Approved by President Robert A. Corrigan on September 25, 2003

Content Contact:
Judy Botelho
(562) 951-4749
Technical Contact:
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Last Updated: April 29, 2008