Background:A CSU audit of off-campus activities in 2009-10 requires SJSU to improve its risk management procedures in the administration of Service Learning (SL). Specifically, we are required to “monitor academic department compliance with SL policies, procedures, and best practices”.
Definition: Service-learning is academic study linked to community service through structured reflection of learning so that each reinforces the other. SJSU requires a minimum of ten (10) hours of community engagement/service in order for a course to carry a Service Learning designation. All CSU campuses are required to report to the Chancellor's Office each semester on the number of SL courses, the number of students engaged in SL, and the number of service hours that the campus provides to the community.
Responsibility: Undergraduate Studies (UGS) is responsible for the integrity of the academic programs and will work in cooperation with the colleges and departments to ensure campus compliance. Within the Office of Undergraduate Studies the Center for Community Learning & Leadership (CCLL) will have direct responsibility for implementation. Deans have responsibility to ensure that faculty members in their colleges using SL pedagogy comply with the procedures assuring best practices in SL and with all campus risk management policies.
Best Practices: SJSU follows the “Best Practices for Managing Risk in Service Learning” provided by the CSU Office of Community Service (2002). These can be found at: www.calstate.edu/cce/documents/Final_draft.pdf
At the beginning of each semester, Undergraduate Studies in conjunction with CCLL, will deliver to Deans, Associate Deans, and Chairs/Directors a statement of policy and procedures for best practices in SL -- with examples of forms to be used -- and a referral to the CCLL website (http://www.sjsu.edu/ccll) where the policies and forms can be accessed.
The Department Chair has the responsibility to inform department faculty, ideally at the first department meeting of the academic year, that faculty members who employ SL in their courses must complete and submit the required SL forms to the Department Chair by the end of the third week of the semester. The Department Chair will forward the required forms to CCLL.
Forms required are:
- Student Service Learning Plan (for each student)
- Faculty/Campus Record of Service-Learning Placement Sites (attached), and
- Service Learning Agreement with all Community-based Organizations (CBO) participating that semester (if the CBO is not already on the approved site list)
All forms are available at http://www.sjsu.edu/ccll/forms/
SL faculty shall require their students to complete a Student Service Learning Plan by the end of the third week of the semester. This form is available on the CCLL website at: http://www.sjsu.edu/ccll/forms/. These forms are to be retained by the faculty member for risk management purposes. Forms should be retained with the grade book for one year.
SL faculty shall complete a Faculty/Campus Record of Service-Learning Placement Sites listing basic course information and placement sites used for the course in that semester. This Placement Sites form should be sent, via department offices, to CCLL by the end of the third week of the semester. (Departments should maintain a copy for the semester so they know where their students are in case of emergency.)
SL faculty should only place SL students with CCLL-recognized community partner organizations which meet pedagogical and risk management standards. Approved community partners are listed on the CCLL website. Approved sites have a current Service Learning Agreement on file with CCLL (found at: http://www.sjsu.edu/ccll/partners/list/).
If SL faculty wish to place SL students at sites not on the current approved list, these new sites (with contact information) must be indicated on the Faculty/Campus Record of Service-Learning Placement Sites form when submitted to CCLL. The CSU requires SJSU to assess sites for pedagogical and risk management practices and to secure a Service Learning Agreement with all Community-based Organizations (CBO). CCLL will arrange to visit and review the proposed new placement site and to obtain a Service Learning Agreement.
CCLL staff is available to assist in the service-learning process. Information and forms are available on the SJSU-CCLL website (http:// www.sjsu.edu/ccll).
Undergraduate Studies has responsibility for ensuring that all SJSU academic programs comply with CSU policies. Deans oversee compliance of programs in their colleges. The Center for Community Learning and Leadership will request copies of all new Service Learning placements at the start of each semester. They will monitor compliance with SL policy and report discrepancies at the UGS program reports meeting at the start of each semester. CCLL will maintain a check list of compliance issues and follow up any instances of non-compliance.
Please refer questions to the Center for Community Learning and Leadership at 4-3540.