Criteria and Approval Process
The University’s Curriculum Committee has approved the following definition and criteria for a course to receive the Service Learning (SL) designation. The Service Learning Advisory Board has been charged with the responsibility for reviewing courses both with a current SL designation and for new courses.
The value in having a course designated as service learning is related to our mission as well as good educational practice. La Salle recognizes the importance of SL for our students’ development, and as an educational strategy to realize its mission. SL fosters critical thinking and problem solving while also encouraging students to examine their responsibility as citizens “toward responsible engagement with the life of their times” (William M. Sullivan, “The Twin Elements of Learning: Knowledge and Judgment,” AAC& U’s Liberal Education, Vol. 96. No. 3). Moreover, we expect that La Salle’s future core will encourage engaged learning practices, including service learning, under curricular requirements.
As an urban, Catholic university, La Salle seeks to embrace engaged pedagogies as a social and moral covenant. This suggests taking students beyond a charity model of service to an examination of the structural issues which create a call for service. Therefore, at its best, SL strives to expose students to the larger systemic issues of justice and to work for a more equitable society.
Service Learning Definition and Criteria
In order for a course to be labeled a SL course, the following criteria meet both national standards as well as best practices that have developed at La Salle over the last decade.
Complete these steps to apply for Service Learning Designation:
Draft a 1-2 page document that details how your course includes each of the following:
Submit your application along with a copy of your syllabus and any related assignment instructions to the Director of Service Learning, Tara Carr-Lemke, at email@example.com, who will share the materials with the Service Learning Advisory Board. The Board will evaluate the course in light of the definition and criteria noted above and may return the materials to the faculty person with feedback or suggested edits. To receive the designation for the Fall semester, submit documents by March 1st and for the Spring semester by October 1st. Once the designation has been granted, the registrar and deans’ offices will be notified. A “SL” designation will accompany the course title and be listed on the course schedule. Please note that approval for a service learning designation will generally be approved for a specific course section and specific instructor, except in the case when a department runs each section of the course identically.
Establishing a Community Partnership
It is helpful for the university to be aware of your community partnership for administrative and logistical purposes. For a list and description of recent sites, go to http://wp.lasalle.edu/cel/ and follow the Service Learning link to “Our Community Partners.”
If you would like your site to be vetted for safety purposes, please follow these steps:
Course Approval Process
|Service Learning (SL) Courses (course already exists, just adding SL component)||Faculty Develops SL Component to Existing Course => Department Reviews/Approves SL Component according to departmental protocol => Service-Learning Advisory Board Reviews/Approves => SL Director Notifies Registrar and Deans’ Offices|
|Service Learning Courses (new course with SL component)||Faculty Develops New Course with SL Component => Department Reviews/Approves New Course with SL Component according to departmental protocol => Service-Learning Advisory Board Reviews/Approves => Home School CC Reviews/Approves => Other Schools’ CCs Review/Approve => FYI to University CC and Registrar|