Ways to Partner
Service-Learning and Your Organization
The following partnership models reflect the most common service-learning course designs used by Loyola faculty. These offer some examples of how various agency missions, opportunities, and needs might align with classroom learning objectives.
The Placement Model: Students as Volunteers
In many service-learning courses, individual students or groups of students fill volunteer roles at your organization, usually offering 3-5 hours per week throughout the semester for a total of 20-40 hours of service (depending on the course requirements and the needs of the service site). Faculty members facilitate connections between service experiences and classroom content through discussion and other written and multi-media assignments that help students apply course concepts to their community experiences. Students in an Intro to Christian Theology class might volunteer at a range of area congregations and reflect on the course essential question: How do people of faith connect faith to service in the world?
Students get relevant, real-world experiences; Congregations/organizations expand their volunteer pool!
Making it Work:
- Reach out to the Service-Learning Manager to discuss potential connections with each semester's course offerings.
- Develop clear job descriptions for standard volunteer roles
- Advertise volunteer opportunities on RamblerLink AND at the Service and Job Opportunities Fairs
- Associate a specific contact person with each volunteer position so that students know where to direct their questions about the opportunity
- Schedule at least one volunteer orientation at the beginning of each semester (2nd or 3rd week), advertise it with the position, and make it mandatory for all new volunteers.
The Project Model: Engage Specific Courses in Projects!
Some LUC faculty facilitate projects in collaboration with community partners. Students may work together to develop a business plan for emerging entrepreneurs, staff an after-school program at a local school, generate a marketing plan for a non-profit organization, conduct an environmental audit of an agency's facilities, or prepare a curriculum for a summer enrichment program. students in a computer science class might develop or modify a database for their agency clients.
Students apply their academic knowledge to real-world problems; Organizations get a concrete product that advances the mission of the organization!
Making it Work:
- Projects require some lead time and preparation, so approach the CEL or faculty member EARLY -- at least three months before the start of the project
- Develop specificity around the project and work with CEL staff to identify appropriate faculty for whom the project would be a logical fit.
Community Education and Advocacy: Get Students to Spread Your Message.
Sometimes students in a course develop material they are learning in class and share it with audiences in the broader community, often to inspire community action or influence policy on a particular issue. Students may prepare workshops, host events, produce videos and white papers, do community organizing, or run media campaigns to get the message out there. Again, this sort of class may involve a significant research component. For example, students in a nursing class may run a health fair for the local community; students in a history class may hold a symposium on contemporary forms of slavery; or students in a Political Science class might develop a GOTV campaign.
Students must master ideas in order to teach them and build communication/presentation skills; Organizations get their message publicized by students.
Making it Work:
- Education and advocacy projects require some lead time so approach the CEL or faculty member at three-six months ahead of the start of the semester.
- Assign a particular staff member to work with a faculty member on the project.
Need some direction as you brainstorm ways for YOUR organization to partner with the service-learning program? Download our "Advancing Organization Priorities Worksheet" Worksheet!