Frequently Asked Questions


What is Service-Learning?

S-L is a teaching method that combines service to the community with academic instruction as it focuses on civic responsibly and critical thinking. In other words, S-L is a chance for you to get hands on experience and apply your course objectives in a real world setting.
Why should I do Service-Learning?
Service-Learning can help you become civically engaged. It’s easier than one may think to give back to the community. It can also help determine your career path. For example, If you think you would like to be an elementary school teacher, then you should do your service at an elementary school. The experience may prove to you either: (1) you’re on the right career path or (2) that you’re not and maybe it’s time to go another direction. You can also land a good job through Service-Learning. In fact, many students have ended up taking a job with the agency they did their service with! It also looks great on a resume, it can help you network with community leaders who later could become great references, and it can help you get into a 4-year university by putting it on your applications.
How is Service-Learning different from volunteering?
Service-Learning, when used as part of a curriculum course at CPCC, helps students learn their course content on a deeper level through hands-on experiences and reflection opportunities.Volunteering, though also wonderful, does not involve reflection practices and often does not require a synthesis of how the experience relates to coursework. Service-Learning utilizes the Critical Core at CPCC with a focus on Personal Growth and Cultural Literacy, and Critical Thinking while our students become more aware community members that are civically engaged.
Where can I go to complete Service-Learning Hours?
Service-Learning can be completed at any non-profit agency that you are interested in working with and is approved by your instructor (if applicable). Many of our students already spend time serving in some capacity - maybe at their church, a soup kitchen, and a variety of not-for-profit agencies. We are unable to approve service hours for anything that you are paid for with agencies that are not serving the community. The Service-Learning Center has also spent a great deal of time and consideration developing our Community Partner list. This is a list of agencies that we encourage our students to utilize when they are looking for a partner to complete their service-learning hours with. The list is comprised of agencies that we work with consistently and are aware of how to best work with our students. This contact list is broken down into areas of interest and what agencies are located next to which CPCC campus. The list can be found on our website under the information for students tab.
How will I receive credit for Service-Learning in my classes?
Each course with a Service-Learning component will offer students a grade-related incentive for doing service. Some instructors offer extra credit on your final grade, others will accept Service-Learning work in lieu of a paper or class project.
Can I go to an agency not listed on the website?
While we strongly encourage you to stick to the agencies that are on our list, you still can go to another site, but only if your instructor approves. We encourage you to stick to our list because we have relationships established with these agencies, these agencies understand Service-Learning and the process and procedures that are involved. Again, please remember that no matter where you decide to go you must have your instructor’s approval.
Can I do service on campus during class time?
Your service work will usually take place outside the classroom on your own time. Most service opportunities will be off campus with our partnering agencies. Students are responsible for their own transportation and arranging their work schedule with our partnering agencies.
What kind of service would I do in a Service-Learning course?
Students who sign-up for a Service-Learning component in a course will complete 10-20 hours of service with a pre-approved Community Partner (service agency) in the Charlotte area. A wide array of service options are available, including working with at-risk children, people who are homeless, crisis assistance, international programs, domestic violence victims, and environmental organizations.
What is Service in Action?
Service in Action is a series of 8-10 service events hosted throughout the semester. Typically, they are on Saturdays, and the event could last anywhere from 3 hours to all day(with many shifts for all day-events). Each event, we try to switch up what agency you are working with. We call this a “buffet of service” in which the participant can have a “little of this, a little of that” and experience all different ways to give back. It’s a great jumping off point for novice volunteers, because students get to see how they work in various settings. For example, say one week you are planting trees and the next weekend you are visiting an assisted living community. You may find that you enjoy working with people more than with the outdoors. Also, a Service-Learning staff member is on site for each event and will sign off on your paperwork, as well as complete the service with you! It’s also a great way to meet other students, because each event is a group event. Also, the group carpools to each event, but you are welcome to drive directly there.
Can I participate in multiple Service in Action events instead of doing my service at one agency?
If this is something that you would like to do please visit the Service in Action link on our website or contact our office for more information. Please make sure your instructor also approves of Service in Action before starting the program.
What if I really enjoyed a Service in Action event at a particular agency. Can I finish the rest of my hours there? Absolutely, yes! While Service in Action is a great starting point, we really encourage commitment to one agency. You get to see growth in yourself and the people the agency reaches out to, and it also helps the agency by having long term volunteers. If you find an event or agency you really enjoyed working with, we strongly encourage you to speak to someone at the day of the event before you go home.
Do I need to sign up for Service in Action or can I just show up?
It’s very important that you contact Savannah Greer to sign up before you go to your first event. This is important because we need to let the agency know how many volunteers to expect, and some Service in Action events can only accommodate a certain number of volunteers, so an event may fill up quickly.
Can I participate in Service in Action if I just want to volunteer?
Of course! We love to see students giving back simply because they want to! If you are interested in doing this, you may also want to consider joining the Rotaract Club. Contact Jenn Marts at 704.330.6824 or for more information about Rotaract Club at CPCC.
I am participating in S-L in more than one course. Do I have to do separate hours for each class?
No, you do not have to do duplicate hours. For example, if Sociology requires 20 and Biology requires 10, just do your 20 hours at one agency that will fit the requirements of both classes. Each instructor will receive a set of the S-L paperwork. The learning will come in by you doing a different reflection component for each class. You will tell your Sociology instructor how your service helped you to understand Sociology and your Biology instructor how your service helped you understand biology. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions on this.
Where do I turn in my confirmation placement form?
Turn this form into your instructor. Do this form after you have contacted your agency/service site, but before you start your service.
Where do I turn in my timesheet?
While you will be having you agency supervisor sign-off on all hours worked, this form needs to be handed in to your instructor once you have completed your hours. The Student Evaluation for Service-Learning should be handed in at the same time as your timesheet.
What’s the Student Evaluation for Service-Learning?
The Student Evaluation for Service-Learning is a brief evaluation of the work you did for Service-Learning. Have your agency supervisor fill out this form on the last day of your service. Then turn this in to your instructor.
Can I print my Service-Learning paperwork at the Service-Learning Center for free?
Yes! The Service-Learning Center is located in the Overcash building on Central Campus in room 257. You can also use one of our computer stations to contact agencies to set up your hours, and use our phones to call agencies. Please note: you can only print Service-Learning paperwork in the Center.
I completed my required hours and turned in my Confirmation Placement form, my Timesheet, and my the Student Evaluation for Service-Learning. Am I done?
Not yet. You will be required to complete a reflection activity in your class. Also, you must come back to the Service-Learning website and complete the on-line evaluation. This evaluation is required and we need your feedback and we value your opinions—good or bad. It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t, what should change and what should stay the same. Without your feedback we won’t be able to improve the program. Keep in mind that this evaluation is confidential and anonymous and you do not have to print it out. Just hit the submit button at the end of the survey. However, we need to be aware that you completed this survey, so after you have hit submit, you can now fill out and print the evaluation confirmation page. Although we won’t know your comments we will know if you took the survey by your student ID number. After you complete your evaluation confirmation page, print it out and turn it into your instructor. At this point your instructor should have 4 documents: confirmation placement form, timesheet, agency contact log and evaluation confirmation page.