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Center for Service Learning and Academic Internships

Service Learning

Service learning is a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are substantively related to course content. Through reflective activities, students enhance their understanding of course content, general knowledge, sense of civic responsibility, self-awareness and commitment to the community.

Faculty Guide for Service Learning Courses


Course Development

Faculty interested in utilizing service learning pedagogy, whether creating a new course or converting an existing course to include a service learning component, should complete a New Course Proposal and Service Learning "S” Course Designation form.
Original forms and a syllabus are sent to the Integrated Curriculum Committee (ICC) and copies of all three documents are sent to the Center for Service Learning and Academic Internships.
Courses must meet the minimum criteria listed on the Service Learning "S" Course Designation form to be designated as service learning. Service Learning courses have a suffix "S" following the course subject and number for identification in the catalog and course schedule.
New Course Proposal (pdf)
Service Learning "S" Course Designation Form (pdf)
Service Learning "S" Course Designation Rubric (pdf)
Service Learning (SL) Designated Courses Policy
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Developing a Learning Site Agreement

Faculty are encouraged to contact the Center for Service Learning and Academic Internships as soon as possible to begin negotiating the Learning Site Agreement with the community partners and to ensure risk management procedures are in place.
Complete the Faculty Request for New Service Learning & Academic Internship Learning Site (Information Form - Exhibit A), and send as an email attachment to Stacy Becker at spb1 [at] humboldt [dot] edu or deliver to the Center for Service Learning and Academic Internships, Gist Hall Room 122.  You’ll be more successful with this document by downloading it first to your desktop and opening it with Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro, then complete it, save it, and finally send it as an attachment.

A Learning Site Agreement, a contract between the community agency and the institution, must be in place before students can begin service at off-campus community sites, or on-campus auxiliary sites, or the students will not be covered with general and professional liability insurance by the institution.

Required Student Forms

The following are the risk management forms are to be completed by each student. Faculty must have required forms in place before student(s) engage in their service learning placements. Community learning sites may have their own set of requirements in addition to these HSU requirements. 

  1. HSU Student Learning Plan – Service Learning (pdf)
    This form identifies course objectives and lists contact information for all parties.
  2. HSU Participation Guidelines (pdf)
    This document outlines student’s rights and responsibilities. Faculty should review the participation guidelines and be prepared to discuss the information with their students. 
  3. HSU Student Time Log (Excel)
    Please advise students of the importance of serving only during their specific designated times at the learning site in order to be covered with professional liability insurance through the university; they must not exceed the designated times at the site. Get Excel Reader
  4. Release of Liability (pdf)
    The standard HSU release of liability is now required of all students in service learning courses. 

Records Retention

The instructor of record is required to retain these documents with the grade records for three years. One useful strategy is to have these forms as part of the course assignments.


Gist Hall Room 122 • 1 Harpst St., Arcata, CA 95521 • 707.826.4963 • Contact Us.