Community Engaged Learning / Service-Learning
Through Community Engaged Learning, faculty can help achieve USU’s goal to prepare Citizen Scholars who participate and lead in local, regional, national and global communities. Any USU course can be designated as Community Engaged Learning/Service-Learning (SL) in Banner. The SL designation (course attribute) indicates that the course involves community engaged teaching or research. The designation can apply to all sections of a course or an individual section and specific instructor. The Community Engaged Learning component can either be required or optional. Before courses can receive the SL designation, faculty must complete a brief Community Engaged Learning course designation form, outlining the learning outcomes, community engagement activity, and reflection. Submitted forms and syllabi are reviewed by the Community Engaged Learning Faculty Advisory Board each semester for the upcoming semester.
The Center for Community Engagement actively maintains Community Partner MOUs and project requests. Prior to completing a Community Engaged Learning designation form, it is recommended that you consult the Center for Community Engagement and AggieSync for support identifying a community partner and community engagement activity/project that is both beneficial to the community and appropriate for your course. Community partnerships in SL designated courses are with non-profit and governmental organizations; however, for-profit organizations that serve underserved and marginalized populations or that need assistance with issues of social justice or sustainability may qualify.
Components of Community Engaged Learning
1. Learning - Community Engaged Learning is tied directly to course material and the knowledge gained from that course material. Learning outcomes must be identified to ensure the link between the course material and community engagement is clearly understood. Through Community Engaged Learning, students not only apply course material, but also learn valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, and critical thinking
Courses are now designated as Community Engaged Learning /Service Learning (SL) in Banner. Before courses can be listed as SL, faculty must complete a short Community Engaged Learning designation forn outlining the learning outcomes, service activity, reflection, and course information. Submitted forms are reviewed by the Community Engaged Learning Advisory Board and can be approved at any time.
Prior to completing a Community Engaged Learning designation form, we highly recommend checking in with the Center for Community Engagement for support identifying a community partner or service activity appropriate for your course.
2. Meaningful Service Activity - Community Engaged Learning is not adding “volunteer” activities to a course. Rather, it is integrating community engagement so that students can apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in class to meet real community needs. The community engaged activity/project is incorporated as part of the “out-of-class” work expected of each student registered in the course. Student learning is graded and impact is measured through structured reflection and assessment activities.
3. Reflection – Reflection is an essential element of a Community Engaged Learning course. It is a structured time for students to recount their experiences and the learning acquired in the community setting. It can be accomplished in a number of ways, depending on instructor preference. Some common forms of reflection include journal entries with prompts, reflection papers, class presentations, or facilitated small group discussions