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Center for Community Engagement

About USM Community-Engaged Learning

USM classifies community-engaged classes into two categories, academic service-learning and community-engaged learning. Faculty/directors should report classes that are academic service-learning for the ASL designation. CCE also tracks community-engaged learning classes (see description below) - please contact cceFREEMississippi to tell us about your course! 

Designated Academic Service-Learning (ASL) classes are indicated on the Class Schedule. Students regularly seek ASL classes because of the Citizen Scholars distinction. Any class can also be offered as ASL with a special agreement between a faculty member and student (see Add an ASL Track). Faculty teaching designated Academic Service-Learning classes may report use of High-Impact Practices. 

Links

List of USM Service-Learning Classes 
Apply for Academic Service-Learning Designation
Online Resources 
Faculty Training (Seminar on Service-Learning)
Track Student Service Hours
Funding Opportunities
Other Ways to Get Involved

Description of community-engaged learning: 

  • Community-based experiences support academic learning objectives
  • Class involves collaboration with organization(s) external to USM
  • Students have structured (essays, journals, oral, eg) opportunities to reflect on how community-based experiences connect with academic learning. 

To be considered USM service-learning, there’s a few extra requirements:

  • Community-based experiences occur throughout semester for at least 15 hours
  • Collaborators are nonprofit or government, PK- 12 schools, or philanthropic
  • Community-based projects meet a need identified by the community
  • Class has potential to impacts students’ sense of personal values and civic responsibility

First steps for faculty interested in community-engaged learning: 

  • Contact cce@usm.edu so we can provide support and/or partner suggestions 
  • Connect with your partner to determine what students will work on and when– what are services students can provide that will also enhance their learning?
  • Develop your syllabus (this checklist might be helpful) 
  • Submit your service-learning designation application – no need to wait for approval 

Ongoing 

  • Please notify cce@usm.edu before Feb. 1 about Summer or Fall semester service-learning plans and before Sept. 15 for Spring service-learning plans. We will get it marked as “Academic Service-Learning” (ASL) in SOAR once designation is granted
  • ASL indications can be removed at any time and late ASL indications will be added the week before classes start.  

Incentives for Students

  • Students who take 2 ASL courses at USM partially meet the requirements to graduate as a Citizen Scholar. Students can also make special arrangements with faculty to have a class count as service-learning.   
  • Students in designated ASL classes receive an end-of-semester certificate and letter from CCE outlining contributions and skills gained. 

Other resources and tips

  • CCE has some online resources that may help you develop your class. 
  • CCE offers a Service-Learning Faculty Fellows program every spring – participants learn best practices of service-learning, teach ASL class, receive $2400 compensation 
  • You or your community partner can add service events on Get Connected, https://volunteer.usm.edu, and have students sign up. Then students can report hours. You, as faculty member, can see how many hours students have completed.  
  • Mini-grants for community engagement projects and community-engaged research (both faculty and student-led) are available. 

Service-learning is a “course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle and Hatcher, 1995, p. 112)..

Service-learning experiences should be designed to meet both student and community partner needs, which often means that co-ops, internships, and/or clinical practicums designed solely for student benefit are not considered service-learning.

Faculty or community partners interested in learning more about service-learning should contact Christy Kayser at christy.kayser@usm.edu or 6-6467. 

Contact Us

Center for Community Engagement
116 Harkins Hall
118 College Dr. #5211

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
cceFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.6467