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San José State University


At its meeting of March 18, 2002, the Academic Senate passed the following Policy

Recommendation presented by Miriam Donoho for the Curriculum and Research Committee.






Whereas         Governor Gray Davis has called on the California State University to teach an

ethic of service and has recently allocated $2.2 million to the CSU system to support the expansion of service-learning on  CSU campuses; and


Whereas         In response to the Governor’s call for service the CSU Chancellor’s Office now requires each campus to identify courses that include service-learning; and


Whereas         Service-learning is a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content; and


Whereas         Service-learning supports the mission of SJSU “to transmit knowledge to its students along with the necessary skills for applying it in the service of our society” and to “emphasize responsible citizenship and an understanding of ethical choices inherent in human development”, and


Whereas         SJSU has a tradition of being responsive to the needs of its community through meaningful and productive university-community connections; and


Whereas         The Provost has committed resources to support a Center for Service-Learning and endorses strong university-community partnerships; now, therefore, be it


Resolved        That the Academic Senate establish policies and procedures to designate service-learning courses as follows:


1. 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 disciplines.  The service may address a variety of community needs, such as direct service to people in need, improvement of community resources, community outreach and education, research, or policy analysis.


2. Minimum criteria for designating service-learning courses


Courses designated as including service-learning shall:

2.1       Introduce students to the principles of community-service learning.

2.2       Require students to complete no less than 10 hours per academic term of direct academically relevant community service.

2.3       Require students to integrate the learning derived from service with subject matter outcomes through relevant activities such as guided discussions journal assignments, written assignments, and/or class presentations.

2.4       Evaluate students’ abilities to integrate the learning derived from service with subject matter outcomes, not merely on performance of community activities. This evaluation should contribute directly to student grades.


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


            A department seeking service-learning designation of a course will follow the normal policies and procedures for creating or modifying curriculum.  A Minor Course Change Proposal to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research or to Undergraduate Studies shall include as an attachment:

3.1       A statement of how the course or section(s) meet(s) the minimum criteria set forth in Section 2.

3.2       A brief description of the probable service assignment(s), including, as known, specifics on hours and/or work products expected, and an explanation of how students will be prepared for their service placement.

3.3       An explanation of how the instructor will integrate learning from this particular community service experience into course discussion and assignments, including a statement of how learning from a service will be evaluated.


Courses and sections to receive service-leaning designation shall be identified by the department in the appropriate Schedule of Classes.  If multiple sections of the same course are offered, only those with service-learning components will be so identified.  Departments shall be responsible for removing or changing CSL designations for each succeeding Schedule of Classes, and shall submit a new Minor Course Change Proposal whenever there are substantial changes in the issues addressed in Section 3.


Any problems regarding initial or continuing approval of CSL courses or sections shall be resolved by the AVP GS&R or the AVP UGS, in consultation with the College Dean and the appropriate senate operating committee as necessary.


Content Contact:
Judy Botelho
(562) 951-4749
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: April 29, 2008