Students

Students & Service Learning

Why should I enroll in a service learning class?

Enrolling in a service learning class gives you the opportunity to:

  • Apply course material to real world situations
  • Help address a community need by using what is learned in class
  • Gain hands-on experience that can help build your resume
  • Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Gain greater awareness and understanding of diverse communities
  • Enhance communication, collaboration, and leadership skills
  • Connect with diverse groups of people/professionals
  • Act on your values, ethics, and what is important to you
  • Understand social issues in a deeper and more meaningful way
  • Become a social agent of change

For more information about Service Learning, please check out our Service Learning Handbook. [PDF}

How do I enroll in a service learning class?

  • There are over 100 service learning classes offered that you can enroll in.
  • When you enroll at CSUDH for Fall or Spring Semester, make sure that the class is designated as a “Service Learning” course.
  • When enrolling, you will know if the class is service learning if it is stated on the “Requirement Designation.

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Once enrolled, you can browse through approved sites using your username pass word on S4. You will either have the opportunity to choose your own site or your professor will assign you a site to conduct your service


Other Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is service learning?

Service Learning is academic study linked to community service through structured reflections, so that each reinforces the other. The academic study may be in any discipline or combination of fields. The service may be direct service to people in need, community outreach, research, education, or policy analysis.

What is the difference between service learning, internship, and volunteerism?

  • Volunteerism: This term is typically used to describe people, who of their own free will and without pay, perform some service or do good work. This can be done on a regular or sporadic basis with community groups, faith-based organizations, schools, or other social service organizations.
  • Service Learning: Service Learning is academic study linked to community service through structured reflections so that each reinforces the other. The academic study may be in any discipline or combination of fields. The service may be direct service to people in need, community outreach, research, education, or policy analysis.

  • Community Service: Strictly defined, community service simply means organized volunteering which meets the needs of the community. The service benefits the community agency or individuals in the community and is most often done through non-profit organizations, schools, or public agencies. Often, community service is court ordered and emanates a negative connotation towards participating in community service.

  • Internship/Practicum: An internship or practicum experience is usually a capstone experience, in which the student implements material covered from a series of classes into the field. This experience normally requires no weekly reflection of the student, but requires the student to culminate the semester with a project or research paper about the internship/practicum experience.

How many hours do I have to serve in a service learning class?

Service learning classes must incorporate a minimum of 15 hours of service.

How do I find a site to serve?

You can browse through approved sites in the Cal State S4 system. (S4 usage instructions can be found here.)

Can I serve my hours at my employment site? Can I choose a site that is not on the approved site?

It is important that your service addresses an important community need that is connected to the learning outcomes of your class. In addition, it is important that there is a partnership agreement between the site and the university to ensure that students will be safe and gain a meaningful learning experience. Your professor will provide the sites of service to make sure that all of the requirements are met to fulfill the class objectives.


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