Community Partner Guide
Service is a mutual thing. It is not only helping others; it is being helped. Because we learn, we affirm ourselves... we have everything to gain by doing this as human beings and as citizens and as people who are trying to learn about the world.— Robert Coles
The programs of the Service Learning Institute engage the content, practice, and pedagogy of service learning to promote social transformation and create a more just world.
The mission of the Service Learning Institute is to foster and promote social justice by cultivating reciprocal service and learning partnerships among CSUMB students, faculty, staff and the surrounding tri-county community.
Social justice is the guiding principle for our practice in service learning.
We believe that:
- Service Learning must promote social justice
- CSU Monterey Bay students, as future leaders of our community, deserve a real world education that inspires social responsibility and encourages compassion for all
- CSUMB should be a responsible, engaged member of the local community
- Academic learning is strengthened by engaging in meaningful service and reflection
- Education at CSUMB should be transformative; creating ethical and responsible community participants
- All partners in the Service Learning process should be engaged in teaching and learning, serving and being served.
We have adopted the following core values to guide our work:
- Building authentic partnerships that demonstrate shared leadership, collaboration and reciprocity
- Acting with compassion, demonstrating honesty and authenticity
- Working towards social justice: continual movement toward an equitable society
- Developing multicultural understanding and respect for differences; and
- Cultivating awareness of self in relation to social inequities through reflection and active service with the community.
Student Learning Goal
Our goal is for CSUMB students to become multicultural community builders: students who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to work effectively in a diverse society to create more just and equitable workplaces, communities and social institutions.
What is Service Learning?
Service learning is an instructional strategy that combines community service with academic coursework in a way that responds to community needs and helps students meet academic, social, civic and moral learning goals.
Service learning enables students to grow and learn through active participation in community service activities that are clearly connected to their academic program. Through service learning, students learn about themselves and their relationship to the world and community around them. Service learning allows students to engage with real-world issues and social problems, and helps them to work with community organizations to become "part of the solution."
Through their community involvement, students gain an understanding of community issues, community assets and community processes for making change happen. Service learning helps students learn and care about others, and develop the skills and attitudes to become community builders in our rapidly changing, diverse world.
Service Learning is Different From Experiential Learning
- Insists that students reflect on their community service experience in a formal manner
- Attempts to balance the benefits to the student and to the community organization
- Emphasizes the social, civic and moral learning that results from reflective community service involvement
Service Learning enables the student to...
- Learn from individuals who are different from and similar in age, class, gender, race, education-level, physical ability, sexual orientation, and life experiences
- Examine their own values, attitudes, and beliefs about the world
- Experience the surrounding communities as part of the classroom for learning
- Develop leadership skills
- Understand the economic, political, and cultural structures of our society and the impact these structures have on people
- Gain experience in academic and/or future career fields
- Develop and experience community with other service learners as well as with the people served
- Increase understanding of the four facets of service: justice, compassion, diversity and social responsibility
What A Service Learner Is And Is Not...
A service learner:
- Enrolls in courses identified with an “S” suffix in the CSUMB course catalogue (i.e., HCOM 307S:Social Impact of the Mass Media).
- Attends classes and also provide service to a community organization for a specified amount of time during the semester
- Addresses community-identified needs in their service placements
- Is involved in activities at the community site that provide meaningful experience related to the content of their course
- Reads articles and books to become more informed about the issues they are addressing at their community service site
- Engages in critical reflection on their community service experiences as part of their classroom activities
A service learner is NOT:
- A volunteer –available to respond to any need for support that the organization may have (clerical,administrative, etc.)
- An intern –where the primary purpose is to develop the students’ specific skills related to a specific technical field or profession
Key Elements of a Service Learning Experience:
The service and learning must be worthwhile and valuable for both the student and the community. There must be reciprocity between the server and those served.
Intentional, systematic reflection about the experience must take place in order to maximize the benefit of service learning experiences. Reflection within the context of the serviceexperience encourages introspection of other aspects of the student’s life. Reflection is the critical process to link service and academic learning objectives.
Service activities need to be directly related to the student’s academic learning objectives in order to strengthen student’s critical thinking.
A priority is placed on involving a broad cross-section of students working in diverse settings and with diverse populations within the community. Service helps students overcome stereotypes and fears, and develop skills as multicultural community participants.
Starting August 1, 2003, all community-based organizations seeking to become CSUMB "Community Partners" must complete a University-Agency Agreement of Placement of Students (UAAPS) form 200 before receiving any service learners at their organization's worksite.
Service Learning Institute (SLI) staff will contact current SLI Community Partners on a site-by-site basis during throughout the year, to also complete University-Agency Agreements.
To find out if your organization already has a University-Agency Agreement with CSUMB, contact our Coordinator of Community Partnerships at 831-582-4184.
While parts of the University-Agency Agreement are adaptable for each service learning placement, any amendments and changes must be discussed with the SLI Director, Seth Pollack and/or CSUMB director of Business Support Services before entering into such an agreement with any community-based organization.
Service-learning staff and individual faculty members are not authorized to change the UA without prior approval from the SLI Director and the Director of Business Support Services or his or her designee on the campus.
Please note: This agreement is intended for use with service-learning placements and may not cover all the specifics that are required for other types of experiential education that the university may engage in with this community-based organization through other departments or initiatives.
All field-based experiences are not necessarily appropriate for a service learning placement; however, there are other opportunities through the campus that might be useful to your organization:
Students with majors in the Institute for Community Collaborative Studies (ICCS) must complete 400 service hours prior to graduation. Students are placed in our surrounding community during their academic experience.
Students are usually placed with agencies that offer case management and social service experience. Contact Marty Tweed, ICCS Field Practice Coordinator (831-582-4161) for more information.
Additionally, all CSUMB students must complete a Capstone Project upon graduation.
The capstone is a major project related to the student's individual and career goals that all students complete during their final semester at CSUMB.
The projects vary widely amongst students and institutes at CSUMB, though many degree programs stress community involvement as a component of the Capstone Project.
Please contact the Institute Directors for further information--the CSUMB General information number is 831-582-3000.
A number of departments at CSUMB have developed Internship Programs. Although there is not a university-wide program as of yet, you can call the Career Development Specialist at CSUMB (831) 582-3845, to find out the kinds of internship programs that exist. The following departments can also provide information internship program information:
- Management and International Entrepreneurship Institute (MIE), Colleen Mullery (831-582-3037)
- Communications Science and Technology (CST), Eric Tao (831-582-4222)
The Field-based Teacher Education Program works in partnerships with schools to place teacher credential candidates to serve as student teachers in classrooms. Contact the Teacher Education Department at 1-866-832-2462 for more information about working with student teachers.
If your organization is looking specifically for tutors, the Early Outreach & Support Program provides tutoring opportunities Call the main office at (831) 582-4600. If you are involved with educating youth around science curriculum, you can contact RISE at (831) 582-4556.
The Monterey County Reads project is offered through the Panetta Institute (831) 582-4200 as a possible source for elementary school reading tutors.
For paid positions, the Academic Skills Achievement Program (ASAP) may be able to connect you with tutors from campus. Call the main office at (831) 582-4104.
If you are looking to hire a student employee you can call the Career Development Specialist at CSUMB (831) 582-3845, with further questions.
- Read the course syllabus. Communicating with the faculty person to learn about the course content will help you shape the student's learning experience and understand what the student is bringing to the placement. Keep in mind that not only do service learning students want to help meet important community needs, but they are also using the experience as the basis for understanding their college course. Students are receiving academic credit for learning through their service efforts. Help students think about what the experience means to them, the organizational context, and overall societal issues and impacts.
- Provide a Job Description. A clear service learning job description, outlining tasks, responsibilities, and required skills must be prepared and given to the student. Positions that carry some degree of responsibility and involve client contact are ideal.
- Be selective. Be aware that some students may not match your needs. Although the Service Learning Institute will refer student service learning candidates to your agency, you will make the final selection. If a student's qualifications and/or motivations are not in harmony with your needs, it is your right and obligation to request a different student.
- Orient, train and supervise! Students require carefully structured orientation to your agency, staff, and clients. Introduce them to staff, provide a tour of the facility, discuss emergency policies, accident procedures, and the rules and regulations of the site. Explain your mission and familiarize students with key community and societal issues facing your organization (i.e. "the bigger picture"--why you do what you do, and how the student can contribute to this end). Use the "Orientation Checklist" provided in the next section to help you plan your orientation.
- Be realistic with your time commitment and expectations of students. Think in terms of semesters and the academic calendar. Remember that you will have to be aware of the semester schedule and adapt accordingly (offer training sessions during the early part of the semester and expect students for an average of 3-5 hours for a 10 week period).
- Be an involved teacher and mentor for students. The supervisor is truly a partner in the student's education and should view her/himself as an educator. Throughout the assignment help the student interpret the experience and the relationship between what he/she is doing and the work of the agency and others. At the beginning of the semester, the student will ask you to review and sign his or her Learning Agreement . This plan will clarify the student's learning objectives and job responsibilities. Your relationship with the student is one of the most significant elements of the service learning experience and often determines the success of the placement.
- Say "Thank you" to Students. Like everyone, students want to be welcomed and appreciated. This may take many forms from letters of recognition to a thank you note, or a verbal acknowledgment of a job well done. They also need to see how their work is important to your agency's mission. Ask the students how they're doing and what could be improved.
- Talk to us. Complete and Return Two Evaluations. Keep the Service Learning Institute staff informed of any concerns, suggestions, or other pertinent issues related to the placement and/or the student. We are here to facilitate the process and assist you in any way possible. A contact list is included in this manual.
At the end of each semester, please complete and return a Student Performance Evaluation by Site Supervisor to the faculty. Please also complete the Evaluation of the Service Learning Process by Community Partner.
The Orientation Checklist below is a tool to help you properly prepare service learners for their community experiences. The orientation should provide students with a clear understanding of the work they will be doing, any risk associated with that work, and how they should conduct themselves when they are working in the community as part of a class assignment.
The first orientation, prior to the first day of service occurs, gives students information about the community-based organization and the nature of their service placements. This should take place on campus, either in class or in a required outside-of-class meeting.
The second orientation, presented by the community-based organization, should take place at the site where students will be working. This is the simplest, most effective way for students to become aware of emergency policies, accident procedures, and the rules and regulations of the site.
First Orientation, Provided Before the First Day of Service
Details related to serving at the site:
- Mission of the Community-Based Organization (CBO).
- Who does the Community-Based Organization serve?
- What programs/service does the CBO offer?
- Specific policies and procedures related to the service placement.
- Review any proof of eligibility that is needed (fingerprinting, background check). Who will cover the cost of this? Where should students go to have fingerprinting done?
- Discuss CBO volunteer expectations.
- Provide students a job description detailing the work they will do (outlines scope of work). Explain the types of activities that are "outside" the scope of work.
- Give the students their site supervisor's contact information.
- Will the students need to meet with the site supervisor prior to beginning their service?
- How closely will the student be supervised? By whom?
- Who do the students call if they cannot make their scheduled service, or will be late?
- Discuss appropriate attire when providing service (based on CBO standards).
- Provide specific training for the position.
- What will the student learn? What qualities or skills will the student develop?
- Review confidentiality rules for the site. Are pictures or video allowed?
- Review the risks associated with this placement.
- Explain what students should do if harassment occurs? Who do they contact?
- Talk about service schedule (total number of hours, days and times of the week, etc.). also discuss beginning and end of service. Students should not volunteer outside of scheduled hours until requirement is complete.
- Who can the students contact with questions or concerns about their placement (CBO contact, and campus contact)?
- Is there a CBO training or orientation to attend? Where? When? How long?
- Where do students check in at the site on their first day?
- How are students' service hours recorded? (For their course and the CBO).
- Give location of the site and directions via personal vehicle or public transportation. Here will students park if they drive? What is the cost associated with parking or taking public transit? Emphasize that the student is responsible for getting to and from the site.
- Who will be evaluating the students' service? Is there a formal evaluation the CBO will fill out?
Second Orientation, On-Site Orientation (on or before the first day of service)
Site Specific Information:
- Tour of site - location of restroom and break room.
- Where, and with whom, do students check in each time they arrive at the site?
- Where is the logbook kept (to record service hours)?
- Review safety rules of the site, location of emergency exits, and emergency procedures.
- Introduce students to other staff at the agency.
- Emergency Contact Information: ask students' permission to share with university.
- Review accident procedures at the site and what to do if a student or client is hurt.
The following guiding principles are considered best practices throughout the field and apply to all the parties involved in service learning experiences. Since each service learning course is different, these guidelines are not intended to be all encompassing.
However, these do's and don'ts apply to most situations. If you feel something included here is prohibitive to the service learning experience you hope to offer to students, please have a discussion with the Service Learning Institute Associate Director, Andrea Monroe.
The intent of these guidelines is not to prohibit service learning experiences, but rather, to provide best practices that allow for safe and positive service environments where the risk and liability have been minimized.
Please see the following links:
Student Leadership in Service Learning (SL2) are CSUMB student leaders who provide support for the service learning process. SL2's are an integral part of the Service Learning Institute's staff. SL2's strengthen service learning by assisting faculty, community partners and the Service Learning Institute in designing curriculum and building strong campus-community partnerships.
Before becoming a SL2, students go through intensive leadership development training over the summer. There are usually 15-22 SL2's per semester.
There are three types of SL2 positions:
The placements of the SL2's are determined by their interests and the needs of the CSUMB service learning program. Although SL2 positions have shared responsibilities, the following are distinctions in the three positions:
- Course-based SL2's support a specific service learning faculty and course each semester. They assist faculty with course design and implementation, including developing and facilitating reflection activities. They also assist with community partnership development and provide peer support to service learners.
- Community-based SL2's work on-site with a sponsoring service learning community partner. They assist in the coordination of service learners and provide direct service at the site. They also serve as a liaison with the site, the Service Learning Institute, and service learning faculty and students.
- SLI-based SL2's provide a variety of support to the Service Learning Institute. They assist with special projects, coordinate special events, provide support to faculty not assigned a SL2 and/or are assigned tasks from the additional opportunities specified later in this description.
For more information about the SL2 program please visit: Student Leadership Programs
For individual contact information, please click here for our Contact Us page.