A service-learning course designation, approved by the College Senate, was implemented at SUNY Buffalo State beginning in the Spring 2012 semester in response to students’ request for service-learning course information during registration. In order to receive the designation, faculty must ensure that their course meets the approved criteria described below, request designation, and be approved by a faculty review board.
To request designation for your service-learning course, please keep in mind the following dates:
Friday, September 29, 2017- request form deadline for Spring 2018 courses
Friday, October 20, 2017- notification of approval and Banner updates' confirmation for Spring 2018 courses
Wednesday, February 16, 2018- request form deadline for Summer and Fall 2018 courses
Friday, March 23, 2018- notification of approval and Banner updates' confirmation for Summer and Fall 2018 courses
Designated service-learning courses can now also meet the IF Global Engagement requirement if the service activity in the course is dedicated to serving populations and/or communities where English is not the primary language. Additional information and IF Global Engagement application materials can be found on the University College Intellectual Foundations website.
By identifying service-learning courses with the SL designation:
Students will be able to easily identify service-learning courses in the course catalog.
Service-learning will be identified on students’ transcripts.
The Civic and Community Engagement Office will be able to track participation to ensure accurate information on community engagement efforts.
A designated service-learning course is only recognized for sections taught by the faculty member who applied for and received the service-learning designation. Sections taught by other faculty members must receive separate designation.
In order to be eligible for approval, a course must meet the following criteria set forth by the College Senate (based in part on the "National Principles of Good Practice in Community Service-Learning”):
Students meet an identified community need through service in partnership with organizations, schools, or other community groups. The course requires a minimum of 10 hours of service for designation (for a 3-credit course). However, the Civic and Community Engagement Office recommends at least 15 hours of community-based work.
The service experience relates to the subject matter of the course and is clearly described in the syllabus and connected to a course learning objective.
Students are provided structured opportunities to reflect critically on their service experience through writing, discussion, presentation, artistic endeavors, or something similar.
At least 15% of the final grade for the course must be based on academic assignments that explicitly link the community service to the academic content of the course.
A designated service-learning course is only recognized for sections taught by the faculty member who applied for and received the SL designation. Sections taught by other faculty members must receive separate designation.
These criteria must be clearly identifiable in the course syllabus. Below is an example of how this can be accomplished easily and minimally.
The service-learning component of this course will allow students to work [Insert number of hours or write "a minimum of 10 hours"] throughout the semester with community-based organizations [Include names, if possible.] to meet identifed community needs through [Describe project.]. Reflection activities including [Describe what means students will use to reflect on their experience, e.g., journals, in-class discussions, reflection papers, etc.] will connect the community-based experience to course material and be part of the course grade.
Complete the Service-Learning Designation Request Form and attach a copy of the syllabus. Your syllabus must demonstrate the criteria outlined above. We strongly encourage you to advise your chair of your application.
Members of the SUNY Buffalo State Service-Learning Oversight Committee will review the form and syllabus.
If approved, you and your Department Chair will be informed that your course has successfully been designated. In the event your course falls outside the definition and/or course criteria, the CCE director will discuss the details and work with you in order to satisfy the basic requirements.
Once a course is approved, a syllabus will be required to be on file in the office each semester the course is taught as service-learning.
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