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Service Learning Requirements

I. The Requirements
  1. 1 hour training workshop
  2. 15 hours of volunteer work
  3. Oral presentation
  4. Personal Reflection Paper


II. The Grade

If you have chosen to do a service learning project it will count for 33% or 1/3 of your total course grade, divided in the following manner:

  1. 11% - Oral Presentation
  2. 11% - Personal Reflection Paper
  3. 11% - Volunteering


Your final grade will be an average of these three grades and will be given by your assigned TA.


III. The Components: A Description

1. Presentation (11%):

You will have to do an oral presentation during the discussion session that you are assigned to by your TA. The presentation should be 10-15 minutes. Since most of you will be presenting before you have finished your volunteering project, we are not expecting you to put forward a comprehensive analysis of your overall volunteer experience. However, your presentation will have to include a description of your project, the people you work with, the site and neighborhood you’re working in, and some personal thoughts about your first weeks of volunteering. Use the Oral Presentation Guide, page 3 of this document, as a guide to what your presentations should include.

As part of the oral presentation, you will also have to write a 2-3 page paper. It should summarize the points you will be discussing during your presentation.


2. Personal Reflection Paper (11%):

Crucial to writing a successful reflection paper is the ability to connect theory and practice. This means that when describing what you learned from your volunteering experience, you will need to use the readings and material you have discussed in lectures and discussion sessions. Not doing this will seriously affect your grade.

Identify a particular experience or set of events at your service site and reflect upon as well as analyze this experience within a broader context. For example, you can choose a perplexing, frustrating, or confusing incident at your community-based organization. You will then identify one or several important social issues related to the course that may be underlying this circumstance. Discuss the multiple perspectives from which the issue can be analyzed and how it might be the basis for making recommendations to influence community agency operations, regional and/or national policies, or societal preconceptions and conventions. You will need to focus on three perspectives: personal, academic, and civic. Use the Paper Question Guide, pages 4-5 of this document, as a guide of what your papers should include.


3. Volunteering (11%):

Factors that will contribute to your volunteering grade include:

-       Commitment (attendance and punctuality)

-       Supervisor’s evaluation

-       Overall Effort (attitude, flexibility, initiative, motivation…)

-       Relationship building (general interpersonal skills, understanding, empathy…)

Although your supervisor at the community-based organization will evaluate your work, the overall grade of this portion will be done by Montse. She will consider not only what the organization’s supervisor says about your volunteer work but also what she observes throughout the semester as she will be working closely with all of the volunteers. 

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