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Service Learning: How to Get Started

A Supplemental Guide for the Service Learning Placement Process

If you have a question not addressed on this page or need additional support, please contact OCELTS by email at or by phone at 504-865-2283. Our office is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

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Review all of the agencies listed on your course page to determine what your top two agencies are based on your interests, your scheduling needs, and your transportation needs. Visit with representatives of these agencies at the SERVE Fair. 

Find Your Course Page

Attend the SERVE Fair. While visiting an agency, be sure to give them your contact information. This is the first step in letting an agency know you are interested in serving with them. Take time to ask agencies about their hours, location (in-person or online), programs, tasks, or other questions you might have. Be sure to ask agency representatives what your next steps should be—should you reach out next week, send an email, attend a training/session, etc.? Also, consider having your resume available.


First, check your Loyola email for any messages from an agency. If you have not received anything by Wednesday after SERVE Fair, reach out to the primary contact (this information can be found on individual agency pages). Remember, it is your responsibility to secure an offer in the allotted time period. 

Agencies will make offers to students ONLY during the Placement Offer Period (September 1-7). Agencies will communicate the offer directly to students and will notify our office of the offer.  No offers can be made after the Placement Period.

Immediately following the Offer Period, students have an Acceptance Period (September 7-12) during which they will accept an agency’s offer to serve. Accepting an offer is a two-step process:

  1. Fill out the Placement Acceptance Form which informs our office details about your service and is your liability waiver. No student may participate in service learning without a liability waiver.
  2. Tell the agency you are accepting their offer. If you received multiple offers, accept the offer you want, then promptly notify the other agencies that you have accepted an offer elsewhere (see email samples below). You may not complete your service learning at multiple agencies

Students who are not placed by the end of the Placement Period (September 12) will be removed from the service learning database and unable to participate in service learning for their course. 

A list of pre-service requirements can be found on individual agency pages on OCELTS’ website or through direct agency contact. Students must ensure all pre-service requirements are completed before service begins. Agencies may hold training sessions or orientations online or at their site. Remember, you must complete all pre-service requirements as specified and in a timely fashion.

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Establish a regular weekly schedule with your agency and stick to it. Plan your schedule with your supervisor, feel free to use the “Plan of Service” found under “Forms” on our website. If you serve a two-hour shift, each week for the entire semester, you should earn all of your hours. Start right away in order to not fall behind on your hours and so that our agency partners are not left waiting for your help. 

Final Note: It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you check your loyno email frequently for messages from OCELTS ( or All information regarding deadlines and requirements of service learning will be communicated via email. You are responsible for addressing emails from OCELTS in a timely fashion.

What if I do not hear from an agency by the placement deadline?

If you have not heard from an agency by a day before the deadline, reach out to them again and let OCELTS know. There may be an agency delay since the entire placement process (offer and acceptances) is not complete until the middle of the second week following the Serve Fair.

What if I am just not sure what is the best agency for me?

OCELTS can offer one-on-one help if you are not sure what agency best meets your interests, your scheduling needs, and/or your transportation needs.

Contact OCELTS


Phone: 504-865-2282. 

Feel free to use the samples below. Brackets indicate where to provide/alter specific information based on your situation.

Sample email to accept an offer (with specific shift): 


Thank you for offering me a service learning placement at [AGENCY]. I would like to accept your offer. In a previous [EMAIL/PHONE CALL/ETC) you offered me a shift on [DAY/TIME] at [LOCATION—if applicable]. I plan on starting this coming [DAY]. I [HAVE/HAVE NOT] finished all of my preservice requirements [if not finished, indicate when you will finish]. Please let me know if there is anything else. 




Accepting an offer (agency didn’t give specific shift or doesn’t have specific shifts): 


Thank you for offering me a service learning placement at [AGENCY]. I would like to accept your offer. After looking on your agency’s webpage, [I see that either [XXX] shift on [DAY] or [XXX] shift on [DAY] fit with my schedule] OR [I I’d like to establish a regular shift, would [XXX] on [DAY] each week be okay for me to come serve?]. 




Notifying an agency you’re accepting a placement elsewhere: 


Thank you for offering me a service learning placement at [AGENCY]. I want to let you know that I accepted an offer to serve with a different agency.