Service Learning & Community Engaged Pedagogy

COVID-19 Guidelines

  • Guidance from the Office of the Chancellor has been updated to indicate that students may choose to participate in on-site experiential learning.  If they choose not to, they should be given a virtual learning option.  Students serving on site must receive COVID-19 safety training and comply with all campus and community agency requirements.  The California State University Experiential Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic policy may be accessed in the California State University policy database

  • A list of Local Partners with Virtual Service Learning Opportunities.

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