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I Want to Teach a Service Learning Course

Planning a Service Learning Course

Step 1: Preliminaries

Identify the course you want to target for service learning.

Recommendation: Focus on one service learning course per semester, especially if you are new to service learning. 

Read and review service learning course criteria.

The Service Learning Faculty Advisory Committee has designated approved criteria for all service learning courses at Loyola. These criteria must be met in order for a course to be designated as a service learning course.

Decide whether service learning will be optional or required.

Service learning can be required or optional in a class. Professors decide whether service learning will be required or optional in a class. This decision must be made prior to course designation.

  • If service learning is required, students must satisfactorily complete the service learning component in order to pass the class.  
  • If service learning is optional, students may choose a non-service learning alternative. The non-service learning alternative is usually another assignment, such as a paper, project, presentation or test. SL and non-SL options should be approximately equivalent in terms of time and effort.

Submit the course title for service learning course designation.

Fill out the Course Submission Form for designation. Courses should be submitted the semester before you intend to teach the course, before registration begins. Deadlines:

  • Fall 2024: March 14, 2024
  • Spring 2025: October 15, 2024

Step 2: Basic Structure and Design

List the course's learning objectives.

Use OCELTS' service learning objectives page for reference. Identify the objectives you associate most strongly with service learning. How do you think service learning will contribute to students' achievement of these learning objectives? Rephrase one or two learning objectives to make specific reference to service learning and its role. Include these objectives on your syllabus. At least one specific service learning objective is required for all service learning courses and will be included on the course webpage.

Choose a service learning model.

Service learning can be listed as a placement or a project for your course

Select community partner(s).

One of the criteria for all service learning courses at Loyola is that service activities must be performed in partnership with an identifiable agency or organization. All service learning partners must have a signed Memorandum of Understanding on file prior to the commencement of service learning activities. Faculty members may develop and lead their own partnerships or draw on Loyola's current partner agencies. 

Decide how much time students will be expected to spend on service learning. 

Consider the overall workload for the class and factor service learning time into this total. Time commitment should be proportional to grading weight. Students are eligible for transcript notations if they document 15 hours of time and effort on a service learning course in a semester. 

Decide on a grading procedure.

View the grading procedure for service learning courses. 

Review additional resources.

For more resource and information, visit our page for faculty who currently teach a service learning course

Step 3: Planning for Reflection

Visit the reflection page for information.