"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

The "S" Designation

No courses have yet been awarded the “S”  designation.

Here is a draft of the proposed Service Learning Advisory Committee process for awarding courses the “S” designation:

Draft Policy on Assigning the “S” Designation to CSU, Chico Courses

1. Definitions:  Service Learning and Civic Learning 

The CSU defines service learning as “a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly 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.”1

Civic Learning is a form of service learning that emphasizes active participation in efforts by members of a community to work together to make public decisions and establish public policies.2

2.  Assignment of the “S” Designation

As the definitions in Section 1 imply, courses with a service learning component are intended to teach both academic and civic knowledge, skills, and attitudes and to relate these to each other.  Such courses should link academic (“disciplinary”) content with meaningful, hands-on experience in community service (i.e., with work that benefits and strengthens the community).  Service learning courses should include structured reflection on the experience in light of course content, so that academic and civic learning reinforce each other.

 Upon application to the Service Learning Advisory Committee, and upon approval by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Committee, a course may be assigned the "S" designation reserved for Service Learning courses per EM 08-25, Course Numbering Policy.  (See also EM 05-18, Policy on Risk Management Issues Related to Service Learning for additional course review requirements.)

3.  Eligibility

Any CSU, Chico-approved course is eligible to receive an “S” designation if, in the considered judgment of the members of the Service Learning Advisory Committee (as indicated by a two-thirds majority vote, per Section 2, above), it incorporates service learning “in an appropriate manner and to a sufficient degree,” as explained in Section 4, below.  

4.  Designation

The Service Learning Advisory Committee will award the “S” designation to an eligible course if, in the considered judgment of the members of the Service Learning Advisory Committee (as indicated by a two-thirds majority vote, per Section 2, above), it incorporates service learning “in an appropriate manner and to a sufficient degree.” A course shall be deemed to incorporate service learning “in an appropriate manner and to a sufficient degree” if it meets the following criteria:

4.1.  it requires every student in the class (unless properly excused and otherwise provided for) to participate in service learning activity in the community for a minimum of 30 hours during the semester;

4.2.  it ensures that every student in the class (unless properly excused and otherwise provided for) will interact face-to-face with persons, groups, or organizations in the community for at least 15 of those 30 hours;

4.3.  it grounds the service learning activity in and explicitly connects it to the substance or methods of one or more academic disciplines with which the instructor of record is conversant;

4.4.  it states clear and specific (a) academic learning outcomes, and (b) service learning outcomes for students;

4.5.  it guides students in reflecting, individually and together, on

4.5.1. the service learning experience itself; 

4.5.2.  the connection of that experience to the course content; and

4.5.3.  the connections between the experience, course content, and important aspects of

the community or societal circumstances in which the experience was gained;

4.6.  it reasonably can be expected to contribute to the development in students of knowledge, abilities, skills, values, beliefs, attitudes, or dispositions that will prepare and motivate them to participate actively, effectively, and ethically in improving and sustaining the quality of life in any community of which they are a member.

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Notes

http://www.calstate.edu/cce/documents/Final_draft.pdf. The Carnegie Foundation definition is similar:  “Service- learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.”

http://www.calstate.edu/cce/about_us/documents/strategic_plan_summary.pdf 

3  See Learning Plan (link: www.csuchico.edu/civic/learningplan   2 a iii 6 B

 Examples:

Knowledge:  theories, hypotheses, and propositions about aspects of human life and its social, cultural, historical, epistemic, religious, economic, and technological contexts

Abilities:  empathy;  open-mindedness

Skills:  deductive, inductive, and probabilistic reasoning;  listening;  deliberating with others;  contributing to the making of sound judgments

Values:  personal responsibility for the well-being of others;  the conviction that “what affects all must be decided by all”

Beliefs:  the recognition that politics, understood as collective choice, is an inescapable feature of social life;  no group or individual is ever in the sole and exclusive possession of “the truth”

Attitudes:   tolerance of ambiguity;  acceptance of people’s flaws;  equanimity in the face of  disagreement

Dispositions:  the readiness to cooperate;  the willingness to learn from others;  the inclination to seek mutually beneficial compromise