Designate Your Course
Believing that service-learning is one of the key ways the curriculum serves the university’s mission to educate “morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good,” the Office of Service-Learning has been tracking service-learning courses since 2006. The designation process enables the registrar’s office to code undergraduate courses as having a service-learning component on student transcripts as well as on Murphy.
By designating a service-learning course, faculty members are informing students of expectations prior to their enrollment. It also enables the university to include the course when it attempts to quantify community engagement for purposes of the Carnegie Foundation’s “engaged campus” category, as well as for competitive grants. Finally, by designating courses, faculty members help the Office of Service-Learning plan and budget properly, ensuring fairness across the various colleges, departments and units we are now serving.
There are other good reasons to designate service-learning courses:
- Current annual review, tenure and promotion policies in the College of Arts and Sciences recognize the offering of quality service-learning courses as meritorious. Only designated courses should count for this rating.
- Doing service-learning entails risk. The Office of Service-Learning provides liability assistance for faculty engaging in the community.
- The Office of Service-Learning publicizes designated courses on its website. Students who are looking for service opportunities will be able to find only courses that have gone through the designation process when they visit the service-learning page – ostensibly attracting a higher-caliber student to our classrooms.
- Faculty who designate courses are able to access budgetary and logistical support from the Office of Service-Learning, including pre- and post-experience surveys for assessment. Down the road, such assessment data might be useful when publishing an article on this potentially transformative pedagogy, thereby serving faculty research agendas.
- Only those faculty who designate courses are eligible to be considered for the annual service-learning faculty award.
The process is simple. Please fill out the form, available on the service-learning website, and email it along with a copy of your syllabus and description of the service-learning component to Paro Pope, administrative assistant to the Office of Service-Learning. A subcommittee of the Service-Learning Advisory Board is reviewing all applications. The first deadline was March 19 in order to include the course designation on Murphy as students registered—but it is not too late. Please submit your designation proposal by June 29 for budgetary considerations.
Please direct any questions, including whether the component in your course might qualify for service-learning, to Kimberly Vrudny, the office’s interim director.