The Process: Taking a service-learning course
Find a service-learning course
- Check out the Service-Learning Courses at the Cortland Registrar’s Web page (go to “course schedule,” click “Search by course attribute,” then click “SLRN”),
- View the Service-Learning Courses on this site or
- Contact John Suarez, Coordinator of Service-Learning, Learning Commons, Memorial Library, SUNY Cortland: firstname.lastname@example.org, (607) 753-4391
Register for your service-learning course
Choose a Service-Learning Agency and Position
In some service-learning courses, the entire class participates in a single project. In other courses, such as CPN 102 and 103 (Academic Writing in the Community I & II), students may have the opportunity to choose their community service from a wide range of agencies.
To help students in classes such as these, the Career Services Office holds Civic Engagement Fairs in Corey Union on the first Thursday of the first week in the fall and spring semesters. At the Fair, students can meet agency supervisors and discuss possible projects. Students can then prioritize their community service choices for submission to instructors. In these classes, students usually receive their first choice.
After receiving approval for their community engagement sites, students arrange to meet with agency staff to set a schedule and to begin their projects. Students maintain records of their work, write reflections, and participate in classroom discussions and activities that link service-learning experiences with course content.
The amount of time that a student devotes to community engagement varies with the course, though it is usually about 20 hours for the semester. That time is important because it provides the student with experiences that are necessary for learning: As the student reflects on connections between her/his course work and community project, she develops her own insight into course-related ideas. Those insights provide a deeper, real-world understanding of course material.
The Extra Service-Learning Credit for CPN 102 and 103
Most service-learning courses replace some “traditional” assignments with community engagement assignments, so the student does the same amount of work in either version of the course. However, Academic Writing in the Community I and II (CPN 102 and 103) instructors cannot replace writing assignments that are required in all CPN courses, so for the course’s community engagement writing assignments (which are the equivalent of a lab), students receive a 4th credit.