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Community Service and Service Learning

Believing in the value of service to others,     we will continue to serve the educational, cultural, and economic needs of Northern California. CSU, Chico, an anchor institution in Northern California, has an outstanding record of collaboration with community and regional partners in education and business. We are also known for our contributions to the fine and performing arts, and our long history of service to the community.

 From the Strategic Plan for the Future of California State University, Chico

Community Service

The CSU defines community service as “all work or services performed by . . . students that contribute to the quality of life in the community . . . Such work may be voluntary or for pay.” CSU, Chico students have a long and positive history of providing outstanding community service through the Associated Students-sponsored Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE)—the largest and oldest community service provider on our campus. Since 1966, CAVE has helped place thousands of students in meaningful volunteer settings. See more information on CAVE in “Belonging.” See also the following table and guide for other commmunity service opportunities.

Service Learning

The CSU defines Service learning (aka community Service learning) as “academic study linked to community service through structured reflection so that each reinforces the other.” Courses with a Service learning (SL) component are designed to teach critical thinking and problem solving as they relate to the real world and the shaping of social policy. SL courses use hands- on experiences in the community to facilitate mastery of the subject matter and a sense of civic responsibility. To find out what SL courses you can take, contact Byron Jackson. See the table for Service learning opportunities.

Why get involved?

Engaging in community service or enrolling in a SL course increases your awareness of the world’s problems and the social policies that are needed to make positive, long-lasting changes in our local and global communities. Getting involved gives you the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life.

It also gives you the opportunity to meet new people, discover new ideas, exercise your talents, and maybe even find a career that you enjoy. Several times during your academic career at Chico State you will be able to participate in a variety of special community service projects or events, such as the Fun Without Alcohol Fair, Bidwell Park Clean-Up Day, or the Campus Blood Drive. These activities do make a difference to our campus and community—a difference from which we can learn how to take care of our community and its people.

Service Awards

In recognition of outstanding service and to remind us of the types of public service that are needed and why, the following annual awards are given: Long’s Award (to a CAVE volunteer), Outstanding Contributions to the University Award (an undergraduate student), the Glenn Kendall Public Service Award (to a graduating senior), the Judy L. Sitton and the Zong-Yi Li Scholarships (to outstanding SIFE students who have demonstrated leadership), and the Outstanding Faculty Service Award (to a faculty member). For more information, contact the Provost’s Office.

Community Service Contacts

America Reads Program*
Tutoring reading in K-3

Jim Richmond


Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC) Volunteers to help students achieve well balanced lives

Shauna Quinn


Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) Tutoring and mentoring, K-Adult, in a variety of settings

Nan Timmons


Educational Opportunity Program
Paraprofessionals provide peer advising.

Martha Williams


Educational Talent Search*
Tutoring, advising, mentoring, grades 6-12

Allan Bee


Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Schools Program*
Tutoring, grades 7-12

Paul Villegas


Precollegiate Academic Development Program (PAD)* Tutoring in math and English, grades K-12

David Ferguson


Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)
Tutoring and mentoring, economic concepts/computer skills, grades K-Adult

Curt DeBerg


Upward Bound Projects*
Tutoring, advising, academic instruction, grades 9-12

David Ferguson


Service Learning Contacts

California Mini-Corps*
Tutoring for prospective teachers

Lupe Guillen


Community Legal Information Center (CLIC)
Paralegal interns provide free legal information to the community.

Karla Zimmerlee


CSU-High School Academic Preparation Initiative*Tutoring in math and English, grades 10-12

Peter Kittle (English)
Bill Fisher (Math)



Departmentally-based Internship Programs*
Many departments have programs that link students in service to the community. Contact Dr. Rothermel, the program coordinators, or department chairs for more information.

Dr. Dennis Rothermel


Experiential Education*
See The University Catalog, pages 62-63 for details about the many internships available to enrich your academic learning. See also the Internship Discover System (IDS) at www.rce.csuchico.edu/ids for an easy-to-use database with more than 1400 listings in the United States and overseas.

William Lerch


Tutoring in math, grades K-6

Eliza Berry


The Service Learning Integrated Partnership Project (SLIP) Teacher candidates learn how to teach with Service learning strategies

Teresa Davis


* Paid positions available