Resources and Tools
Frequently Asked Questions
|Integrate Service Learning into your course, term:||Submit courses by|
|Spring 2015||Friday, October 24, 2014|
|Fall 2015||Friday, March 20, 2015|
Community engagement is an overarching commitment that can inform and enrich all three categories of faculty activity: service, research, and teaching. Faculty members who embody the ideal of community engagement integrate it into their teaching and their research/scholarly/creative activities as well as those activities traditionally categorized as "service." Learn more »
Like all collaborative endeavors, service learning requires a spirit of respect, equality and reciprocity. When done well, service learning benefits students, community partners and faculty. At a bare minimum, however, all service learning collaborations must abide by the Hippocratic oath: "First, do no harm." Here are a few tips:
Acknowledge that community partners may be
just as busy as you, and possibly busier.
|Expect responses to communication more quickly than you give them.|
Acknowledge that community partners possess
wisdom, knowledge, skills and expertise that are
just as significant as your own. Invite them to share
this wisdom with students.
|Treat the community as a laboratory for you or your students.|
Expect community partners to invest just as much
time and energy in service learning as faculty and
|Let partners off the hook if they've failed to meet agreed-upon expectations.|
Ensure that service learning activities meet real
needs and produce net benefits to community partners.
|Co-opt or exploit community-based programs to enhance your class, your research, or your status.|
Place equal value on the partner agency's needs,
course needs, and student needs. Understand that
none of these is more important than the others.
|Assume that university participants have final decision making authority about service learning activities.|
Utilize asset-based thinking. Instead of asking
"What problems need to be fixed?", ask "What strengths
can be built on?"
|Utilize deficiency-based thinking ("What weaknesses or defects can we fix?").|
Always respect confidentiality. Ask students to anonymize
in discussions and written work.
Ask students to record video or audio or take photos in any community settings without prior consultation with partners, express consent from all community partners and clients, and full cooperation with agency policies and procedures. IRB approval
may be necessary for research projects.
|Hold yourself and your students accountable to mutually agreed-upon expectations.||Automatically take students' side when problems arise. Understand that students and community partners may have different interpretations and perspectives on issues that arise.|
|Seek feedback from partners, including constructive critique. Always include community partner feedback in grading.||Ignore underperformance or write off a bad collaboration as a "learning experience."|
At Loyola, we strive for an even higher standard. In addition to abiding by these basic principles of respect and equality, we hope our university-community partnerships embody the Jesuit ideals of social justice and solidarity.
Here are a few tips for realizing these ideals in service learning collaborations: