Q: What is the difference between service
learning and volunteerism or internships?
A: Service learning is an academic form
of civic engagement that is guided by a specific curriculum. The service is structured
and consistent for the duration of the course and reflected on regularly. The relationship
between the community organization and the faculty is a mutually beneficial partnership
for the students and the organization. Both the students and the organization are
gaining valuable recourses.
Volunteerism emphasizes the services provided to the organization. The benefits
for the organization outweigh those of the students. In addition, the service is
not structured around a curriculum and is usually inconsistent. Reflection does
not occur regularly.
Internships emphasize the knowledge the student has already gained. The benefits
for the students outweigh those of the organization. Although the work is usually
based on a previously learned skill, the work is not structured around a current
curriculum and requires significant time practicing the skill. Reflection does not
Q: How can I get connected to a service
A: Your first step is to contact us! Fill
out a Community Needs Survey on our web site so we know what kinds of project you
are looking for and we can begin to find a faculty partner for you. Also, sign up
on our listserv to keep up to date on what is happening with the MUSLP.
To become a Community Partner, Sign Up Here.
Q: I am new to service learning. Will I
be prepared to take on student volunteers?
A: First, take a good look at your organization
and what yours needs are. Can students help you fulfill those needs and better service
the community? Do you have the capacity and ability to train and observe the students?
The MUSLP GA can also assist with service project oversight and questions, but you
will need some capacity to do this, also.
Q: Will the students be prepared for the
service learning experience with my organization?
A: Faculty play an important role in preparing
the students for the service learning experience. It is required that each course
includes at least 1 reading about or pertaining to service learning. The MUSLP GA
is also available to discuss service learning with your organization and to answer
any questions the students may have, as well as come to observe the service and
trouble shoot issues that may arise.
Q: How will I locate appropriate faculty
for my organization?
A: The MUSLP can assist you in contacting
possible faculty partners and also has a database on our web site of past SL courses
and affiliated faculty to browse through. A consultation with a MUSLP representative
is beneficial for this process. In addition, the MUSLP invites many of the organizations
to participate in campus events and service learning discussions. These are excellent
places to meet and speak with faculty that are familiar with the MUSLP.