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Palomar College Learning For Success

Service Learning

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has" ~ Margaret Mead

Welcome Faculty

**Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: To Faculty – We understand you are making transitions to an online teaching environment. We are here to support you as we are all adjusting to an online learning environment. We offer one-on-one assistance via zoom, email, or phone. Please reach out to us at servicelearning@palomar.edu. We are here for you. Stay healthy.**

We love your involvement in Service Learning!

“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

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Directions For Incorporating Service Learning into Your Course 

Whether or not you are new to Service Learning, we are here to help you from the beginning step of brainstorming to the final step of providing feedback on your carefully crafted project. We are available to meet in-person or chat on the phone/email to help you integrate service learning into a class assignment. The Service Learning Department is here to support you in making it a successful part of your classes. 

To Get Started:

  • 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). If you need recommendations, feel free to reach out to us for some ideas.
  • 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.
  • Add Service Learning resources to your Canvas. Send us an email for the faculty password to access a list of resources you can utilize and/or copy to your course page.
  • 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, discussion board posts, 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 the Service Learning Office. 

  • Direct all students to the Info for Students page where they will find Student Step-by-Step Directions. Make sure ALL Service Learning students fill out the Agreement Form, Liability Form, and  Online Registration Form for Service Learning before beginning service. All forms need to be turned in to the professor. Please hold onto them until the end of the semester and send it to the Service Learning Office, P-8B after you submit grades.

At the End of the Semester:

  • It is required that once students have completed their Service Learning hours that they complete the Online Completion Form for Service Learning. This enables us to track service hours to show the impact Palomar College Students are making in our community. Additionally, as a grant-funded program, we rely on the data to write our performance reports and grant proposals.
  • 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 or after you finish turning in grades. 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.

*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!