Service Learning

Palomar College

For Faculty


Welcome Faculty, We love your involvement in Service Learning. We couldn’t do it without you!

“I incorporated Service Learning into my class and had 18 students collectively complete 322 hours. That is 322 hours of service in the community that would not have otherwise happened. While the students learned and grew from the experience, children received extra guidance and care, the homeless received extra warm smiles, teachers got to breathe with a second set of hands and eyes present. As a professor of Service Learning,  I am no longer “just one person” trying to make a difference in our community. I open the gates to make way for things bigger than myself.” – Adjunct Professor at Palomar College

Information for Professors Who Are Interested In Incorporating Service Learning into their Courses

Contact Gina Wilson for a one-on-one meeting and/or see the directions below.

PD credit available for the hours spent integrating Service Learning into your course!


The Service Learning Department is here to help you get started with Service Learning and to support you in making it as a successful part of your classes.

1.  Browse our List Community Partners page to see agencies and organizations where your students could possibly serve. There are lists by topic/interest and a list of special events that can make great one-time service projects.  Note, arrangements can also be made to have students serve at agencies and organizations not on this list (we love to add to our list… it just keeps growing!).

2. Brainstorm how Service Learning would benefit your class. What real-life experiences would benefit your students? How could interacting in the community help them better learn course material? How might working hands-on motivate them to want to learn more, and succeed? Not sure? Contact the Service Learning department. We will brainstorm with you.

3. Add Service Learning to your Syllabus/ Course Directions.
Set the number of hours you require (you may allow a one-time service opportunity that is just a couple hours, or require students to complete a set number of hours like 15). Students must complete the hours just for your class. They cannot count the same hours of service for 2 classes. See NOTE below.
Establish how students will receive credit for their Service Learning Project in your class. This could be done simply by making a Service Learning experience extra credit. Another option is to make it a choice (write a 10-page research paper or complete 10 hours of service learning and reflect on the experience).  Or, it could be a part of a larger assignment in your course. See below for sample wording you can copy into your syllabus!
Connect Service Learning work to your course. Reflecting on the Service Learning Experience is what separates Service Learning from volunteerism. Create an assignment for students that allows for reflection. This could be through field notes, reflection papers, presentations (verbal or video), class discussions, etc. (See below for examples). OR Simply have students complete our Service Learning Reflection Worksheet.
If you would like more help with this step, contact Gina Wilson!

4. Please direct all students to the  Info for Students page where they will find Directions for Service Learning in 11 Easy Steps! Make sure ALL Service Learning students MUST fill out the Agreement form, Liability form, and  Online Registration Form for Service Learning before beginning service. All forms can be turned in to the professor. Please hold onto them until the end of the semester.

5. Require that once a student has completed their Service Learning hours that they complete for your course on the Online Completion Form for Service Learning. (This enables us to log student service hours and show the impact Palomar College Students are making in our community!)

6. After service is complete, collect students’ Time Sheets, and Student Performance Evaluation Forms. Turn in these forms, as well as the Agreement and Liability forms to the Service Learning Department by the last day of the semester. It is VERY important that you collect all paperwork from students and promptly turn it into the Service Learning Department. Students’ service hours will NOT be documented with the school if the paperwork validating their hours is not received.

7. Did you have any students who shined in their Service Learning experience? Please nominate your amazing Service Learning Students for the Excellence in Service Learning Award and scholarship by filling out the Nomination for Excellence in Service Learning Form. Faculty or supervisors at the Service Learning sites may nominate students.
We always like to hear about students’ service learning experiences. With student permission, please share any memorable quotes or portions of a student’s reflection paper with us! Email Service Learning Associate Gina Wilson,

NOTE: Students must complete the hours just for your class. They cannot count the same hours of service for 2 classes. For example, if they have two classes that each require 10 hours of service, they need to complete 20 total hours, 10 for one class, and 10 for the other. Please have these students fill out two separate time sheets, two online registration forms, and two online completion forms. Using the same service hours for 2 classes is a “duplication of assignments” which is a violation of academic integrity. Please see the Palomar College Student Code of Conduct paragraph A.

*Some professors take their class on a group Service Learning Project during class time. This can be a great learning experience and promote meaningful class discussion! Please have students fill out all of the paperwork and Service Learning steps listed. If the professor is present, the professor can sign the agreement form and time sheet. Professors will also need to fill out the Palomar College Single-Day Field Trip Authorization Request Form 

*Faculty and Staff Can also participate in Service Learning (with their class, on their own, or with collegues) for Professional Development credit! (Participate in a Service Project. Sign in to your PD Porthole. Go to the Transcript page and click on the options box. Select Add External Training. Under the External Training (self-designed) Categories dropdown menu, select “Participate in the Service Learning Program”

We are here to help you!
If you are interested in discussing partnerships with community agencies for your Service Learning course, we can suggest some agencies that could meet the goals and objectives of your course. If you have suggestions or a need for students to serve in a specific capacity, please let us know and we will work to find volunteer experiences that are relevant to your coursework.

Would you like to have a quick service learning orientation in your class for your students? Please let us know!

Contact Information:
Service Learning Office Location- MD 350
attended by Service Learning Associate, Gina Wilson

760. 744-1150 ext. 3734 if not answer, please email Gina

Service Learning Coordinator:
José Briceño
Office:  MD 263
(760) 744-1150 ext. 2341



Ideas for Combining Service and Learning

Sample Wording for Including Service Learning in your Syllabi

Service Learning Reflection Worksheet

Examples of Assignment Directions:

CHDV 145 – Directions for Service Learning 

PSYC/SOC 205 – Directions for Service Learning Assignment Integrating Research

Service Learning Directions for Extra Credit Example

Directions for Writing Field Notes for Service Learning



Additional Resources:

Ideas for Creating Reflection Assignments for Service Learning

Service Learning Reflection Toolkit from Dartmouth College

Sample of Student Reflections