Frequently Asked Questions
Will the time involved in planning a Service Learning course be worth
the results? In other words: does it take too much time?
Planning the logistics of a service learning class or component will take
time and energy. This, of course, is the case with any academic pursuit. To
minimize that time, the Community Service staff is more than willing to assist
in the planning and organization, and as partnerships grow with community
organizations, the process will become smoother. Right now, SL is something new
at Endicott, and we must work to adapt to Endicott's academic model. As the
program grows, we will be able to anticipate more challenges, and the amount of
time required will lessen.
Should SL be optional?
This is up to the professor and the nature of the course. Having an optional
service requirement may be appropriate for lower-level courses, when students
are still searching for direction and need many different opportunities. For
upper-level courses, a requirement might be beneficial to make sure that
students are getting the most of their academic program by comparing and
contrasting their experiences with concepts and ideas pertinent to their
discipline of study. Again, the decision between required and optional is
ultimately a case-by-case one.
How is SL different from traditional volunteering?
Service Learning is different from traditional volunteering because it is a
part of the academic curriculum and course credit is earned for the performance
of service and the reflection upon that service. With SL, it's not simply about
earning credit by fulfilling a community need (though that is essential). It's
ultimately about what is learned through the service.
How is SL different from an internship?
Although Service Learning offers practical experience and even possible job
contacts, SL is not designed simply as preparation for future placement in the
work force. Job training is not the focus of the experience. Rather it is
designed to enhance course material as well as provide a needed service to the
How do I evaluate students' performances in a SL course?
An integral aspect of service learning is the reflection that follows the
service. Evaluation is both quantitative (fulfilling the required hours) and
qualitative. Reflection journals, papers, presentations, in-class discussion, or
anything else that requires students to analyze, reflect on, and critique their
experience are all viable methods of evaluation.
How will students be matched up with appropriate agencies?
The Community Service office has information on and contact with numerous
community-based organizations. Professors and students can work with the office
to find appropriate placement. As the SL program grows at Endicott, this process
will only become more streamlined as we learn which organizations are most
receptive to community service learning.
Are there any methods for students to evaluate the agencies they work
for and vice versa?
As the program continues, it will be important to institute a method of
evaluation for both the students and the agencies. Mid- and end of semester
evaluation forms for both parties will allow faculty and the Community Service
office to evaluate the effectiveness of community partnerships and student
Who will keep track of the students' service hours?
Students will track their own hours using a pre-made contract provided by the
Community Service Office. The number of hours a student claims to have completed
is confirmed by the agencies' mid- and final-semester reviews
How many service hours should be required?
The amount of hours is largely dependent on the type of service, the
community organization, and the overall course-load; 15 - 35 hours is within the