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Frequently Asked Questions


Student Service Activities

There are five major steps for completing a successful service-learning activity.

Preparation: Review your course syllabus and ask the professor any questions that need clarification to understand the reason why this is a service-embedded course and what is expected.

Action/Service: Contact the service-learning office at nsuslc@nsu.edu and ask for a list of community placements to see the best fit for your course learning objectives. Two Graduate service-learning Work study assistants are available to assist you as needed. Ask the assistants for a packet which includes forms, risks and liability forms, and logs to be signed and completed by you and the service site coordinator. (757) 823-8568

Reflection: Journaling is a key component for the service activity. Keep an ongoing detailed journal, and use the information for critical thinking, application of theories learned in the class to real-life practices, for completing your report or thesis. If permitted, document your service with photos, and try to learn the history about the organization, its purpose, and relevance for the social or economic need. Think of David Kolb’s model: What? So What? Now What? Remember, the four C’s of Reflection are: continuous, connected, challenging, and contextualized. Don’t wait until the end of the service-learning experience to reflect.

Evaluation: Several methods may be used by your instructor; Class presentation, a paper or research thesis, pre-post survey, group discussion. Now that you have been though a transformative experience, ask yourself what, so what, now what?

Celebration: Congratulations! You will be invited to participate in the annual Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Poster Fest at Scott Dozier ballroom. At that time, NSU administrators, faculty and student body, along with and our community partners showcase posters, of service accomplished. Special recognitions and certificate of completion will be awarded to deserving students and Community organizations for another successful year of service.

Benefits of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Community feels a greater sense of connection to the University. Needs of the community can be addressed and met. Service-Learning students develop a better sense of responsibility to the community and gain a clearer understanding of the needs of the community. Students attain a deeper knowledge of the social justice and issues facing the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between service-learning and community service?

Service-Learning differs from community service in the following ways:

  • Uses the community service experience as a vehicle to help students attain their academic goals and objectives
  • Uses the need for community service as a foundation to examines ourselves, our society, and our future
  • Enables students to use newly acquired skills and knowledge in real-life situations
  • Enables students to perform a valuable, significant, and necessary service which has a positive impact on the community
  • Empower students and those they serve which allow the needs of the community to dictate the service provided
  • Students receive academic credits for their service through the embedded course

Will transportation be provided?

Most students carpool to the sites, or drive. There are occasional vans available during school hours to do a drop-pick up for some of the smaller groups of students. However, it must be arranged through the service-Learning office.

How many hours of service are expected?

The number of service hours vary based on the professor’s syllabi. Generally students commit to 15-30 hours. Upper level and Honors College courses average between 50-75 hours per semester, culminating with a research paper. Instructors may offers service-hours as extra credits, or include it as a portion of your total points earned for the course. Students also participate in several one-time volunteer service opportunities.

What kind of service activities will I be doing?

Tutoring, mentoring, community- based research, intergenerational programs, computer technology assistance, Adult GED literacy assistance, community projects, voters registration drive, habitat for Humanity, nonprofit fund drives, health, social, and spiritual awareness projects, Green energy projects, cross peer tutoring, Friends of the Juvenile justice program, arts and crafts activities, financial literacy classes, Science, engineering, biology projects, and several career development and community day projects with the community.

What are my personal benefits?

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Confidence and self esteem
  • Communication
  • Responsibility
  • Knowledge
  • Problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Willingness to take risks and explore new challenges
  • Intellectual Development and Academic Learning
  • Social responsibilities and concern for others
  • Understanding others
  • Understanding ourselves