Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions from Faculty

What is Service-Learning?

Service-Learning is a teaching method that combines service to the community with academic instruction, and it focuses on critical thinking and reflection.

Are there different types of Service-Learning I can use in my classes?

There are four types of service-learning that can be utilized in your classes. It is also common for Central Piedmont service-learning faculty to use a combination of two types of service-learning described below to meet the needs of their class:

  • Direct: Students complete service outside of the classroom at an agency approved by the instructor. Example: Students in a Sustainability class partnered with Habitat for Humanity to perform blower door tests for residents in low income homes.
  • Indirect: Students complete service during designated class time or on their own time for an agency that is approved by the instructor. Example: Students in a Graphic Design class developed a logo for The Crop Walk and Second Harvest.
  • Research Based: Students complete service during designated class time or on their own time for an agency that is approved by the instructor. Example: Students in a Statistics class analyzed data for the Habitat for Humanity Critical Home Repair program.
  • eService-Learning: Teaching method that combines ONLINE (partial to full) service to community & ONLINE (partial to full) academic instruction with focus on critical and reflective thinking. Example: Performing Arts and eTraining videos were created for a community partner’s volunteer coordination and training program.

Why should I use Service-Learning as a teaching tool in my classes?

Service-Learning enables the student to put theory into action.
Students are given the opportunity to learn course content on a deeper level since they are utilizing course content in the community
Service-Learning is continuing to grow at Central Piedmont and nationally as a widely accepted form of experiential learning.

2013-2014 Service-Hour Estimate Image

How does utilizing Service-Learning in my courses help my students?

Service-Learning meets two of the 4 core competencies: Critical Thinking and Personal Growth and Development.

Studies show that students who participate in Service-Learning have a higher GPA (23%), are retained from semester to semester (15%) and earn more credentials than non-service-learning students (17%).

How can utilizing Service-Learning in my courses help me as a faculty member?

  • Faculty can incorporate service-learning into their PDP including community engagement
  • Faculty are given the opportunity to network with non-profit agencies in the community through Volunteer Fairs, Community Partner Breakfasts, and other Service-Learning sponsored events and activities
  • Faculty are offered opportunities to attend professional development opportunities through Service-Learning including the annual Pace conference at Elon University.
  • Faculty partnerships through service-learning are highlighted in Service-Learning newsletters and annual reports that are shared throughout all of Central Piedmont and the local Charlotte Community

How much time will it take for me to incorporate Service-Learning into my course?

This really depends on how you choose to incorporate service-learning, if you make it mandatory or optional, and what type of reflection you require for your students to earn their grade. Please consult with your Service-Learning Coordinator at your campus to learn more!

How Can the Service-Learning Center Help Me?

  • Schedule and structure student orientation sessions where students will receive materials and on-line resources that include the following: an overview of the process, placement site information, forms to be completed and student expectations.
  • Recommend organizations based upon course learning objectives. Staff will consult with faculty on site selection, student orientation, reflection activities, and development of individual service opportunities and assessment/evaluation of the program.
  • Ensure students complete the necessary paperwork to be enrolled in the Service-Learning program, help the student find the proper placement (within the course objectives) and contact the organization.
  • Manage and maintain a database of participating students and provide periodic reports including hours completed and current placement sites.
  • Develop and support co-curricular and extra-curricular service activities.
  • Maintain a collection of articles, books, resources, syllabi and pamphlets pertaining to service-learning and related topics. Items may be borrowed via campus mail or pick-up.

Elements that are essential to all Service-Learning projects:

  • The project(s) address a learning objective for the course.
  • Students are required to complete a reflection component that utilizes critical thinking skills.
  • The Service-Learning assignment is part of the course work and not an add on or extra credit.
  • Students are graded on the learning and not the service.

I am interested in incorporating Service-Learning into my course(s). What now?

  • Complete Service-Learning 101. This workshop is offered in an online format for one hour of PD credit, and it covers important topics for any instructor who wants to implement service-learning into his/her curriculum!