Female Biology – Service Learning Information


What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is a pedagogical method that engages students in organized service activities and guided reflection; the service activities benefit the client or community and, in combination with reflection, enhance the academic curriculum of participating students.

In accordance with its Mission*, service learning at the University of San Francisco promotes interaction with diverse communities and organizations, in order to help students and faculty develop the knowledge, skills, and sensitivities to be effective agents of social change. Service learning is distinct from acts of charity because it is reciprocal; students, faculty, and community organizations teach and learn through their interactions. Teaching and learning are informed by the realities of the world, and service is informed by theoretical and conceptual understanding.

  • 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 assesses the student learning outcomes of the service experience.


What do I need to do for this class?

For this class- you are REQUIRED to participate in a minimum of 45 hours of service work outside of class time by the end of the semester. However, you must commit to completing 60 hours with your organization - since most health-related organizations require that as a minimum commitment.  Working in groups (maximum of 3 per group), you must choose an organization with which to work.  The organization must be directly related to women’s health/issues and you must contact them and find out whether or not they can use your help and if they would be a good “fit” for you.  Then, you must report back to me who you are working with and what your schedule will be (no later than FEB. 7th).  Throughout the semester, you are required to keep a journal of your service experience- recording what it is you are doing, how it is impacting your learning experience, and what types of connections you can make between the volunteer work and the classroom concepts.  As a group we will reflect upon your experience each week throughout the semester. 

S-L Paper

At the end of the semester, each student will turn in a paper that summarizes the service learning experience as it relates to specific course content. Additional details will be provided.


Your SL grade (which comprises 20% of your final grade) will be based upon your performance with the organization, participation in the weekly reflection sessions in class; you twitter feed; your journal and the paper:

1)   complete at least 45 hours worth of service during the semester

2)   keep a daily participant record of your activities and journal of your experience

(At the end of the semester you will turn in a reflection journal.  This personalized document will allow you to dig deeper into your SL experience. Rather than simply chronicling your work with the organization you will discuss your feelings about the experience and the organization.  You should also write about how the experiences related to the female biology class.  Journals may be hand written, provided they are legible.  Although this is due at the end of the semester, you should write on a regular basis –especially immediately after you have left the organization that day.  For tips on journaling your SL experience see http://www.uta.edu/ccsl/for-students/reflection-journals.php)

3)   write a paper on your experience and organization and connect it directly to the course material

4)   participate in the weekly in-class reflection sessions



Hopefully, you will find the experience to be something enlightening and worthwhile.  The idea is to link your mind (what you are learning in lecture) to your heart (a true feeling of responsibility towards others in your community).  When working on difficult women's health issues, you will learn that nothing happens without dedication and commitment to making the world a better place for women.
Your SL experience will help fulfill the following course outcomes:


Apply your knowledge in the setting of women's non-profit organizations and health centers for the betterment of women.
You will acquire an awareness of how women deal with issues in a real-world setting.
You will formulate attitudes and self-concepts related to female issues through engaging in hands-on service learning.
You will reflect and report on your service learning experience, connecting lecture material with your service work.


Approved Organizations:  The following is a list of organizations in the area that would be great SL groups for you to work with (students from this class have worked w/them in the past).  Only 1 group can work at each organization, and they are given on a first come-first serve basis, meaning that once you have chosen the organization, you tell me and then it is off the list.


Service Learning Groups and Organizations for Spring 2014

Homeless Prenatal Program - http://www.homelessprenatal.org/about/mission

CPMC Women's Health Resource Center http://www.cpmc.org/services/women/whrc/ - Sahar Raheed & Jennifer Pimsiri

UCSF Medical Center Mt. Zion Women’s Health Center Internship:Contact: 415+353-2668 http://whrc.ucsf.edu/whrc/index.html

Shanti Organization Lifelines Breast Cancer Services http://www.shanti.org/pages/about-volunteer.html

WOMEN, Inc. 864-4777 http://www.womaninc.org/help_home.html  Email: volunteer@womaninc.org

Women Against Rape http://www.sfwar.org/involved.html (no males)

Lyon-Martin Health Services http://lyon-martin.org/

Planned Parenthood https://plannedparenthoodvolunteer.hire.com/index.html

Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center http://hiv.ucsf.edu/care/perinatal.html Email: Shannon.Weber@ucsf.edu

AIDS Research Institute at UCSF http://www.ari.ucsf.edu/about/staffcontact.aspx

La Casa De Las Madres http://www.lacasa.org/

Women's Initiative http://www.womensinitiative.org/index.htm - Janelle Jamok

Center for Young Women's Development http://www.cywd.org/support.html

Breast Cancer Action http://www.bcaction.org/

Women Veteran's Comprehensive Health Center http://www.sanfrancisco.va.gov/services/women/ - Kate & Alex

Breakthrough SF - Angela Medina & Amin Ashok

National Center for Lesbian Rights  415.392.6257

Older Women's League: 415.989.4422
Justice Now: http://www.jnow.org/
YWCA http://www.ywcasf-marin.or - Celine & Tiffany