For courses across the curriculum to receive the Service Learning Designation (SL), the course must be approved as meeting the service learning criteria outlined below. The College Curriculum Committees will determine whether or not a course receives the designation through normal college curriculum procedures. The integration of service learning into a course has five key components:
- Service activities are mandatory.
- Clear connections exist between service activities and the academic discipline.
- Service activities benefit the client or community in a meaningful way.
- Students engage in a carefully articulated reflection process around the service, the discipline, and themselves; and
- Faculty assess the student learning outcomes of the service experience.
Note: Course sections with an SL designation meet the graduation requirement for a service learning course experience. SL-designated courses are specifically directed to meet mission identity in curricular structure, as articulated in the Core Curriculum. Service learning activity may vary by course and discipline. The average across the nation is 20-25 hours of service per 15-week semester.
By completing the Service Learning graduation requirement, USF students will:
- Discover how to apply and extend what is learned in the classroom while addressing the needs and issues of the community agency that hosts the service learning experience
- Analyze their own beliefs, values, assumptions and identities while learning about the beliefs, voices and values of others
- Demonstrate an understanding of the extent to which all individuals share the need to be ethically engaged in furthering the welfare of their communities
- Demonstrate the ability to properly identify the demographic characteristics, socio-cultural dynamics, needs and strengths of a group or community
- Reflect on the personal and academic impact of their experiences with a community or agency
- Demonstrate learning from multiple sources of knowledge and an appreciation for the reciprocity between scholarly knowledge and community action
- Think critically and act compassionately as they promote social justice