Designating a Service-Learning Course

Designating a Service-Learning Course – What’s in it for you

The Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement has been tracking service-learning courses since 2006. The designation process helps:

  • The Registrar’s Office code undergraduate/graduate courses as having a service-learning component on student transcripts as well as on Murphy.
  • The university quantify community engagement in the Carnegie Foundation’s “engaged campus” category as well as apply for grants.
  • OSLCE plan and budget properly, ensuring fairness across the various colleges, departments, and units it serves.

Faculty also benefit from the designation process:

  • 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 count for this rating.
  • Doing service-learning entails risk. OSLCE provides liability assistance for faculty engaging the community.
  • OSLCE 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.
  • Faculty with designated courses are eligible to receive the annual service-learning faculty award.

The Designation Process

Complete the SL Designation Form and email a copy of your syllabus and description of the service-learning component to A subcommittee of the Service-Learning Advisory Board reviews all applications.

Courses must meet ALL the criteria below to be given a service-learning designation. If you have any questions or would like to consult with someone in SL, contact

  • The service-learning component is integrated into the course content and learning objectives.
  • There are opportunities for structured reflection (written, verbal, or other) about the service-learning experiences.
  • The service-learning activities are meaningful, relevant, and intentionally linked to academic content.
  • The service-learning component benefits the common good and raises issues of social responsibility.
  • Both the community partner and the University benefit from the relationship. Expectations for each party are set.
  • The service-learning experience is required for all students.