Missouri State service-learners work with students at Robberson Elementary
Where the service-learning magic happens
Community Learning Sites are crucial to the success of the Service-Learning program. Our students need experiential opportunities in their learning.
We value any opportunity to collaborate with community organizations committed to addressing social issues and see our partnerships as win-win situations.
Sign up, then take a look through our resources in the dropdown below, including the Learning Site Handbook, where you'll find important information about working with Missouri State's service-learners:
Wait, what's service-learning again?
Service-learning is an academic program designed to connect students and their academics to experiential service opportunities within the community. Service-learners are expected to use the knowledge and skills they gain in the classroom and apply it to social issues, practicing Missouri State public affairs mission at all times. Students earn course credit for their service-learning experience. Community agencies get good help. Win-win.
Introductory or Introduction to Service-Learning courses engage students in 4 hours of service related to their course and/or the Public Affairs mission.
One-Credit | 40 Hours | Reflection Assignment
In the component course, students have the option of enrolling in a separate, but attached, one-credit course. The student who chooses the service-learning component course is required to complete 40 hours with or for a learning site spread over the course of a semester.
Embedded Coursework | 15 Hours | Service Meets Course Objectives
In an integrated course, the service-learning element should be embedded into the coursework and fits the course's learning objectives. Technically, every student in the classroom has a minimum service-learning time requirement of 15 hours with or for a learning site, but student or instructors are not required to track their hours like they do with a component course. The instructor chooses if the class will work together as a team, in groups, or as individuals.
✘ Coordinating a community marathon is service.
✘ Measuring body mass index is learning.
✔ Calculating the average BMI of a school, setting up a website to gather statistics, then organizing a “Walk across North Carolina” to help reduce obesity is service-learning.
✘ Picking up trash on a riverbank is service.
✘ Studying water samples under a microscope is learning.
✔ Science students collecting and analyzing water samples, documenting their results and presenting their findings to a local pollution control agency is service-learning.
- Gain new advocates
- Develop better community resources for all citizens
- Recruit and develop new leadership in the community
- Benefit from faculty and students’ knowledge, skills and creativity
- Create awareness of services and needs in our community
- Strengthen the connection between the community and the campus
How students benefit
Test career choices
Gain “real world” experience
Apply theories and concepts learned in the classroom
Contacts & references
Make a difference
- Receive support and assistance from the service-learning staff
- Accept service-learners who are appropriate for your organization.
- Request support from the service-learning staff for inappropriate student conduct.
- Communicate to the service-learning staff any recommendations or suggestions regarding the program.
- Expect service-learners to be timely, efficient and courteous while working at your organization.
Planning and preparation
- Decide on how many students your organization needs.
- Provide the service-learning office with a copy of your organization’s mission statement so we can share it with students and give them a good overview of who you are and what you do.
- Develop clear and well thought-out position descriptions that outlinetasks, responsibilities and expectations.
- Keep in mind students need a service experience that complements their academic study and help them better understand the broader societal implications of the issue(s) your organization addresses.
Schedule a meeting
- The CASL office requires all service-learning students to set up a meeting with their learning site.
- Use this opportunity to find out more about the students and share with them about your organization and how they can contribute to your mission.
- Discuss the students’ role, including specific expectations.
- Review policies, rules, dress codes, work schedules and other important information.
- Include a tour of the facility, if possible.
Keep in mind students’ schedules
- Be as flexible as possible regarding students’ work schedule.
- Agree upon number of working hours, days and times.
- Give advanced notice of necessary schedule changes, if possible.
- Give students regular feedback about their work and acknowledge their contributions.
- Keep faculty and the CASL office informed about any sucesses, concerns and suggestions.
- Update your records with the CASL office when there are changes so we can give students accurate information about your organization.