2009 Service Learning Fair

Placements and projects

In service learning placements, students volunteer regularly throughout the semester at an agency for a set number of hours.  Service learning placements operate on a system of mutual choice.  Students and agencies participate in a process of offering and accepting placements at the beginning of each semester.  Generally, placement work takes place off-campus at a program site and involves direct service. [What's this?] Students document all their service hours using a service learning timesheet.  At the end of the semester, agency supervisors assess students' performance using a standard evaluation.  The results of these evaluations are given to professors to be incorporated into students' class grades.

In service learning projects, students in a class work together to complete specific tasks and provide a concrete deliverable to nonprofit organizations and public agencies.  Partner agencies are usually chosen in advance by the professor.  Students usually do not need to choose a project partner.  Project work may take place off-campus, on-campus or both.  Often, projects involve indirect service. [What's this?] Most projects do not have a predetermined hours requirement, but at the end of the semester students will be asked to submit an hours report in order to be eligible for transcript notations.  Project evaluations are usually customized to each particular class.  However, feedback from partner agencies is incorporated into students' grades.

What's this?  Indirect service is just as valuable as direct service.  Direct service involves hands-on, face-to-face interaction with an agency's clients.  Indirect service often refers to capacity-building work which benefits the agency by supplementing its resources or boosting its effectiveness.

Examples

Indirect service:  Helping a hospital publicize a blood drive by reaching out to potential blood donors
Direct service:  Donating blood or greeting/screening donors at the blood drive

Indirect service:  Producing a directory of local food banks for a homeless shelter
Direct service:  Cooking and distributing meals at the homeless shelter