Service Learning & Community Engaged Pedagogy

Essential Elements of Service Learning and Community Engaged Learning Courses

The California State University system uses the CSU-CEL Taxonomy to identify the implementation spectrum of community engaged learning (CEL) courses. The Chancellor's Office defines service learning as one type of CEL which must include all six essential elements from the CSU-CEL taxonomy. The taxonomy can be used as a guide for imbedding service learning in a course.

Please contact for assistance with the creation of a new service learning course.

Service Learning at SJSU

In addition to including the six essential elements from the CSU-CEL taxonomy, service learning courses at SJSU must:

  • incorporate a minimum of ten hours of community based service and/or research over an extended period of time throughout the term and
  • follow risk management guidelines.

Reasons to Integrate Service Learning in a Course

  • Make a difference in the surrounding community by helping to address pressing community problems
  • Provide students with real world context for theory and discipline-specific knowledge
  • Raise students' awareness of current and community issues as they relate to academic area of interest
  • Develop students' critical thinking, writing, interpersonal communication and citizenship skills
  • Advance research and scholarship efforts