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Resources and Innovations

Despite the challenges mentioned above, the CSU has been successful in achieving steps that seemed insurmountable. This section will highlight some of the creative ways and resources campuses have used to achieve steps and goals.


Campus Compact

Campus Compact is a membership organization of college and university presidents who are committed to supporting and promoting service learning and service.

California Campus Compact (CACC), directed by Mr. Elson Nash, has provided invaluable assistance and resource to the CSU campuses. CACC has provide grant opportunities, technical assistance, capacity building techniques, institutes and workshops for faculty and administrators, VISTA positions, and general information on service and service learning initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. Most recently, CACC played a critical role in lobbying the state legislature for passage of service learning legislation. Despite the Governor’s veto, the mobilization of service learning practitioners in the state and the education of legislators on service learning pedagogy created a critical foundation for the passage of future legislation to support CSU campus efforts.


For the 1998-98 academic year, all 21 CSU campuses included in this report have made verbal commitments to become members of California Campus Compact.

Leadership within the Campus Compact

The California Campus Compact is housed at San Francisco State, and chaired by SFSU President Dr. Robert Corrigan. Dr. Blenda Wilson, President of CSU Northridge, serves as a member of the National Campus Compact Board of Directors. Leadership within Campus Compact strengthens the CSU role in national conversations about service-learning.

Western Region Campus Compact Consortium Grantees (for institutionalizing service learning)

In 1997-1998, 12 campuses were awarded WRCCC grantees to support the process of institutionalization. On several campuses, this grant served as the impetus for additional support for service-learning from the institution. For example, at Northridge, the Provost’s office matched the WRCCC grant in order to provide enough release-time for a faculty member to effectively manage a newly created Center for Community Service Learning. The following campuses have received the WRCCC grant and were recently awarded the grant for a second year: Bakersfield, Fresno, Fullerton, Humboldt, Long Beach, Monterey Bay, Northridge, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, and San Marcos.

WRCCC Continuums of Service conference:

The 1st WRCCC Continuums of Service Conference at Portland State University was well attended by CSU representatives. Over 35 CSU faculty, administrators and students participated in workshops and dialogues, and facilitated several of the workshops, highlighting the significant work that had been done on CSU campuses.

The 2nd annual WRCCC Continuums of Service conference will take place on the CSU Fullerton campus from March 3-5, 1999. The conference, which is expected to attract a national audience, is faculty-focused and discipline-based, while also providing valuable opportunities for community service and service-learning directors to discuss the critical elements of service-learning. This will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the CSU and its leadership in service-learning initiatives.

Learn and Serve: Higher Education Grants from the Corporation for National Service

Currently for the 1998-99 academic year, there are 4 campuses that have Learn and Serve grants:

  1. Northridge, directed by Dr. Warren Furumoto
  2. Sonoma, directed by Dr. Tony Apolloni
  3. San Francisco, directed by Dr. Rosemary Hurtado
  4. Monterey Bay, directed by Ms. Marian Penn

Although the CSU has four programs that receive support from Learn and Serve grants, this is an area that the CSU has highly under-utilized. Marilyn Smith, Executive Director of Learn and Serve Higher Education, has strongly encouraged all of higher education to more actively lobby for, and seek out, funds from the Corporation for National Service. This is an endeavor the CSU must pursue.


CSU Community Service Learning Listserv

Currently over 100 service learning faculty and staff have joined the CSU community service learning listserv ( This discussion group is devoted to sharing information, ideas, challenges, and resources about service-learning within the CSU system.


America Reads

San Francisco State President, Dr. Robert Corrigan, is the Chair of the America Reads Steering Committee. All 21 campuses included in this report have America Reads programs on their campuses. As was illustrated in Goal Three, America Reads has helped the campuses develop, and continue, ties with elementary schools and community agencies that focus on literacy initiatives. Additionally, the program has helped campuses recruit students into service and tutoring opportunities, which can provide a foundation for future interest in service-learning experiences.


Service Learning 2000:

Service Learning 2000, housed at Stanford University, has provided opportunities for CSU faculty and administrators to participate in institutes, workshops, and conversations that focus on the integration of service-learning pedagogy with teacher preparation programs. Several CSU campuses, Chico, Humboldt, San Bernardino, and San Marcos, have been actively involved in Service Learning 2000. Additional opportunities to support service-learning in teacher preparation should be explored.



Below you will find a sampling of the innovations some campuses have developed in order to address the challenges they have faced.

Collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning/Faculty Development Center

Effective collaborations between community service-learning offices and centers for teaching and learning have provided a strong foundation for service-learning initiatives on many campuses. The Centers for Teaching and Learning can enhance the credibility and rigor of service learning initiatives. Service-learning may not be seen as an "add-on" if it is connected to the faculty development center. Service-learning is truly seen as a pedagogy that can enhance a faculty member’s teaching and a student’s learning and experience. Campuses that have well-developed collaborations with faculty development centers include Bakersfield, Chico, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Jose and Stanislaus.

Position of Service-Learning Mentor:

Fresno created a position of Service-Learning Mentor for faculty, supported with funds from the Western Region Campus Compact Consortium grant. This faculty mentor serves as a resource to other faculty and can speak to the pedagogical and reward issues on a peer-to-peer basis.

San Diego State also created a similar position for the newly created Center for Community-Based Learning. The service-learning faculty mentor position is held by the former coordinator of service-learning at San Marcos. The two campuses collaborated to share service-learning resources, and arrange for a leave of absence for a faculty member of one campus to assist another campus with their service-learning initiatives.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has a faculty service-learning mentor position, as well as student mentor positions.

"S" designation for service learning courses

Fresno’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee approved an "S" designation for all courses, which meet specific service-learning criteria. This process increased awareness of service-learning pedagogy university-wide, and acknowledged the existence and importance of this type of course. Finally, the designation will allow students to more thoughtfully plan their academic schedule, coordinating time commitments in a realistic manner.

University policy stating criteria for service learning or community-based learning status:

To address the confusion about the definition of a service-learning experience, and to raise awareness about service-learning in general, several campuses, including Fullerton and Fresno, have developed policies defining the criteria for a service-learning experience.

VISTA positions:

Through the assistance of CA Campus Compact, many campuses have received VISTA positions on their campuses to help in the coordination of community service and service-learning efforts. VISTAs are involved in the coordination of America Reads, as well as serving as community liaisons. At Northridge, there is one VISTA community liaison for every two college deans. Their positions will enhance the communication and efficiency with which the campus will partner with the community. At San Francisco State, there are nine VISTAs who have been assigned to various community programs. Under faculty supervisors, they perform program development projects then return to campus to work on community service-learning placements for students.

Instructionally-Related Activity Fees:

Instructionally-Related Activity Fees provide financial support to academically-related programs such as theatre, choir, and major-related competitions. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has received support from this fee, this year and will seek additional funds next year. Stanislaus is also looking into this source of funding.

These are only a sampling of the creative strategies campuses have developed to continue progress to institutionalize service-learning.

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

Last Updated: April 29, 2016