Service-Learning Project Management
Service-learning offers the opportunity for faculty to extend learning opportunities into the community. When asking students to broaden their academic experience by participating in service-learning, however, there are numerous logistical issues to take into consideration. The Center for Experiential Learning offers these tools, forms, and resources to help faculty manage these experiences successfully:
- Student Safety - this Student Safety document provides useful ideas and strategies for students while they are engaged in service to our communities. While we don't want to exaggerate risk in our neighborhoods, we also want to make sure that students are aware of potential problems that might arise.
- Documenting Student Hours - All service-learning courses and service-learning/internship courses must be documented in LOCUS as part of substantiating students' fulfillment of the university's Engaged Learning Requirement. All service-learning courses require that students serve a minimum of 20 hours with a community partner or on a classroom project, education campaign, or research study. Information about students' community engagement helps the CEL manage student risk while working in the community, and provides important data about Loyola's partnerships with Chicago-area not-for-profit organizations through experiential learning classes. Faculty can ask students to complete a StudentHoursLog in order to document the successful completion of the requirement. Once students have completed their minimum number of hours and any assignments, faculty should go into LOCUS and approve the completion of the engaged learning requirement.
- Site Agreement - the S-L Agreement form consists of two back-to-back pages. Page One is signed by the student and left with the community supervisor; it documents the student's commitment and contains information about the class in which the student is enrolled. Page Two documents the agreement between the student and the community organization supervisor. The supervisor signs the form during the student’s orientation. The form is then returned to the faculty member.
- Project Documentation - In placement model classes, where individual students are required to secure their own service sites, your students are also responsible for creating an individual engaged learning record in LOCUS. Instructions for creating this record is available here. In project or community education/advocacy classes, where groups of students (or entire classes) are cooperating to complete community-based projects with one or more organization partners, the CEL staff can create class-specific "template" descriptions that can be used to create these engaged learning records for multiple students at the same time. Use the following form to submit information about community-based projects that your students are completing for a particular class. Please submit one form per project site.
- Approving Student Work - Once students have entered their information into LOCUS, it is your responsibility as course instructor to APPROVE students' sites. This step is extremely important for risk management purposes, as it demonstrates to Loyola's insurer that you, as a faculty member, were aware of students' off-campus activities, and that they are therefore covered by Loyola's general liability policy. Instructions for approving students' individual placement information can be found here: Faculty Approval of SL. Instructions for creating and approving templates for Class Project-Based Engaged Learning sections in LOCUS can be found here: Faculty Approval of SL- Project Base.
NOTE: If you would like the CEL staff to assign your students to particular projects for you, email a listing of project groups to Experiential@luc.edu or include the names of students assigned to each project in the project's detailed description.