Service-Learning Designation

Service-Learning Course Designation

Service-Learning Course Designation Request

 Service-Learning Course Designation for Fall 2014 is now closed.  Please check back in September for the Spring 2015 Service-Learning Course Designation Request. 

Designated service-learning courses can now also meet the IF Global Engagement requirement if the service activity in the course is dedicated to serving populations and/or communities where English is not the primary language. Additional information and IF Global Engagement application materials can be found on the University College Intellectual Foundations website.


Why Apply for the Designation?

By identifying service-learning courses with the SL designation:

  • Students will be able to easily identify service-learning courses in the course catalog.

  • Service-learning will be identified on students’ transcripts.

  • The VSLC will be able to track participation to ensure accurate information on community engagement efforts.

What qualifies as a service-learning designated course?

In order to be eligible for approval, a course must meet the following criteria (based in part on the "National Principles of Good Practice in Community Service-Learning”):

  • Students meet an identified community need through service in partnership with organizations, schools, or other community groups. The course requires a minimum of 10 hours of service for designation (for a 3-credit course), however the VSLC recommends at least 15 hours of community based work.

  • The service experience relates to the subject matter of the course and is clearly described in the syllabus, and connected to a course learning objective.

  • Students are provided structured opportunities to reflect critically on their service experience through writing, discussion, presentation, artistic endeavors, or similar.

  • At least 15% of the final grade for the course must be based on academic assignments that explicitly link the community service to the academic content of the course.

How to Apply for the Service-Learning Course Designation

  • Complete the Service-Learning Designation Request Form. Send it via e-mail along with a syllabus to: Your syllabus must demonstrate the criteria outlined above. We strongly encourage you to advise your chair of your application.

  • Members of the Buffalo State Service-Learning Oversight Committee will review the form and syllabus.

  • If approved, you and your Department Chair will be informed that your course has successfully been designated. In the event your course falls outside of the definition and/or course criteria, the VSLC Coordinator will discuss the details and work with you in order to satisfy the basic requirements.

  • Once a course is approved, a syllabus will be required to be on file in the VSLC each semester the course is taught as service-learning.


Volunteer and Service-Learning Center

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Cleveland Hall 306
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5811
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