Guidelines For Service-Learning
As a service learner it is important to remember
that you are not only representing yourself as a student, but you are
representing Monroe Community College.
- Treat your service as you would treat
paid employment. Make sure to arrive on time. Tardiness
is unprofessional and inconvenient to the site supervisor. Clothing
should always be neat and professional. Ask what the dress code is if
it has not already been mentioned.
- If you are working directly with individuals who your community site
serves, make sure to obtain and maintain
professional communication. Educate individuals about
your role at the community site and for how long you will be there.
Remember, this is a professional relationship.
- Make sure to take notice of the strengths
in the community and how those strengths can be adapted
to meet needs in the community.
- Develop and maintain a good professional
rapport with those you work with. Be trustworthy, respectful
- Communicate with your site supervisor
and your professor. If any situation arises that you
have questions or concerns about, make sure to address them before it
becomes unmanageable. Be proactive!
- Always keep in mind how you can tie
course objectives to your service-learning experience.
- Plan a schedule with
your site supervisor and stick to it. Any changes in your scheduled
hours should be communicated with your site supervisor.
- Keep track of the number of hours
you are at your site on your time log. This log must be turned into
- Ask questions at your
site if you don’t understand something or want to know about it.
- Confidentiality! Make
sure you maintain it. If you have questions about what information can
and cannot be shared, ask about the policy of the community site. Don’t
ever give out specific information about another person.
GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNITY SITE
All community sites must conduct an on-site orientation.
This is an opportunity to provide information and instruction to the student(s).
It is important that students become familiar with your agency and staff,
understand their responsibilities, learn about your policies and attend
any necessary training. The more information that you can cover during
the on-site orientation, the more prepared student(s) will be to work
at your agency. Please encourage them to ask questions and give them feedback
about appropriate behavior at the site.
The following are some suggestions for what you
may want to include in your on-site orientation:
- Agency Information:
Educate the student(s) about your organization: Whom do you serve? What
are the demographics? How are you funded? What is your mission? What
is your philosophy?
- Staff: Who are some
of the staff and what are their positions? Is there any jargon or language
generally used by staff that students would want to know?
- Provide a List of Contacts/Numbers:
Please list people/agencies that will be useful for students in doing
- Responsibilities: What
is expected of the student(s)? Describe the role student(s) play in
your agency. How will their performances be appraised?
- Policies: Sign-in/out,
dress code, office rules.
- Training: If any is
needed, what kind and when?
- Final Product: What
is the final goal for your agency that is expected from the student(s)
by end of service?
- Scheduling: What are
your agency’s hours of operation? When should students complete
their service? When will you meet with students during the semester
to review work they have done independently?
- Supervision: It is
important that all service-learning students have a contact person at
the community site who will supervise them. The amount of time each
student will need supervision will depend on the project or service
activity. Students may be allowed to work independently without specific
activities assigned each visit. When structured this way, supervision
time can be more effectively used for questions and feedback. If the
assigned site supervisor will not be available for any reason, please
make sure the student has another site representative available if needed.
It is important to remember that students
are not volunteers. Students are here to meet community needs, but they
are also using this experience to enhance their learning of the college
course material. Students are receiving academic credit for learning
through their service efforts. Your assistance in helping service learners
think about what their experience means to them and how it relates to
their coursework is very valuable.
- Sign-In Procedure:
Students are required to have a sign-in time log completed every time
they come to your agency. We ask students to have their site supervisor
or someone from your agency initial their time log during each visit.
Provide students with identification from your agency or require students
to have their MCC identification available.
- Modeling: The site supervisors become part of the student’s image of what it means to be a professional in the world of work. Often the interpersonal relations that develop between a supervisor and a student are among the most significant parts of the student’s experience. Taking an interest in the student, his/her activities and sharing feelings and interests beyond the work situation can be very helpful.