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Service-Learning Frequently Asked Questions

What support is available to instructors who want to use service-learning?
Current instructor support includes the following:
  • Service-learning training, during which service-learning is explained, project examples are discussed, resources are provided, procedures are enumerated, syllabi are altered to include service-learning, and collaborations with community partners are begun; 
  • Blackboard instructor site with extensive resources;
  • Instructor stipends for those adopting service-learning  to a course for the first time;
  • Service-learning mini-grants course funds for service-learning related projects; and
  • Assistance from the service-learning coordinator in the semester before and during service-learning is used.
What type of preparation will students receive for service-learning activities?
Students will be prepared in several ways. In the classroom, instructors will prepare students beginning the first day of class with a written syllabus statement about service-learning. Sample syllabus statements are provided during the SL training, as are tips for briefly explaining the project(s) to the class on the first day. Students also receive preparation through in-class activities, such as instruction on course learning outcomes and through pre-service work. Additionally, the service-learning coordinator will provide a student orientation, which can be conducted during class. Currently, the orientation covers the following:
  • Service-learning explanation, roles, responsibilities;
  • Volunteer Expectations Agreement;
  • Release and Indemnity Form;
  • Pre-Service Survey; and
  • Timesheet

Finally, the service site may also provide orientations, trainings, or in-class presentations to further prepare students for the volunteer and learning experience.

What are the incentives for using service-learning in my courses?
That's a big question, and not one that can be completely answered here. The most important things to note are the enormous benefits to students.
  1. Students learn well through multiple modes of teaching and learning, and service- learning incorporates the methods you already use with service experiences that make the learning real for students. Imagine an entire class having that "Aha!" experience when they truly understand not just a concept, but the reasoning, complications, and implications behind its use.

  2. Support. Administrators at Durham Tech recognize the energy and time that go into our classrooms, and they also realize that service-learning is intimidating to faculty who already feel strapped for time. They also know that research indicates that the success of service-learning on a campus depends on the support available to service-learning instructors. That's why Durham Tech administrators have made a service-learning coordinator available to help you plan, implement, and assess service-learning in your courses and to ensure that important support materials are created and ready for your use. Additionally, a small stipend is available to instructors incorporating service-learning into new courses during pilot phases.

Durham Technical Community College
1637 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

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