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Center for Community Engagement

USM Policy for Designating Service-Learning Classes


USM's Academic Council has approved the following review process to identify and clearly label classes meeting the disciplinary standards for service-learning pedagogy. Faculty who teach classes approved with the "Academic Service-Learning" designation will be shown as using a "High-Impact Practice (HIP)" in Digital Measures.  

An application is available to USM faculty members, department chairs, or department appointees who wish to designate a class as service-learning. The completed application must demonstrate that the class meets the following criteria for service-learning:

Criteria for service-learning

  • service supports the attainment of one or more academic course objectives
  • service addresses a community-identified (local, regional, global) need
  • learning involves structured student reflection on the service experience and its relation to course goals and/or the academic discipline
  • learning involves reciprocity between course and community that has the potential to result in students' enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility
  • service contribution is a minimum of 15 hours, which may consist of planning a project, producing a product, or serving at a site

By design, the criteria for USM service-learning classes align closely with the definition of service-learning proposed by Robert Bringle & Julie Hatcher, who define it 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). 

You can submit an application to designate an ASL class at any time during the year. A faculty committee, with input from the CCE Director, will review and approve/deny applications. If your class is approved for the ASL designation, the registrar will add the “Academic Service-Learning” course attribute to the appropriate sections in the class schedule before departmental access to scheduling is closed each semester. This attribute can be removed at any time through communication with the CCE director. Designation is granted for a five-year period, after which the class must be submitted for re-designation. 

For more information, contact Christy Arrazattee, director of the CCE, at christy.arrazatteeFREEMississippi


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