Service Learning for Faculty

services | partnership development | risk management | getting started

  • How can you integrate your teaching, research, scholarly work, and university/community service?
  • How can you connect your areas of expertise with the community?
  • How can one faculty’s teaching through applied learning result in 600, 1200, or even 7,200 service hours to the community in a single semester?
  • The answer: service learning

Why Faculty Teach with Service Learning (SL):

Service learning student providing service in sacramento

Integrate community-based learning into courses.
Enhance teaching effectiveness through experiential learning.
Connect Scholarly Work and community Service.
Develop creative activities and community contributions for RTP.

  • Teaching – Service learning augments faculty teaching by helping to “make real” the concepts discussed in the classroom. By connecting the classroom to the campus and local community, service learning can enhance faculty ability to communicate, and student learning of, core competencies.
  • Research – Service learning can create opportunities for faculty to conduct pedagogical research and evaluation. Faculty can also pursue collaborative research and grant writing opportunities with service learning community partners.
  • Service (University and Community) – SL helps connect faculty to other faculty on campus, to campus-wide programs, and to organizations throughout the Sacramento Region. SL rewards faculty with the opportunity to address University needs and/or issues of social justice and civic responsibility through unique University-community and intracampus partnerships.

Benefits to students
Benefits to community

Community Engagement Center offers service learning courses through each of the colleges within Sacramento State. For a list of our current courses and partnerships, please select the link below. The list will be updated often as additional courses are offered.

Our Services:

Community Engagement Center provides a variety of faculty support services, including identifying opportunities for community based research, consultation and participation in conferences, special events and more.  We offer additional support through Faculty Mentors, current Sacramento State faculty and/or lecturers who utilize their service learning/community engagement experience to mentor new service learning faculty. 

Community Engagement Center staff are available to assist interested faculty with developing a service learning course, syllabus, outcome assessment tools, and reflection; integrating community based learning into your retention, tenure, and promotion file; scholarship/research; and more.

The following are primary services available to Community Engagement Center’s service learning faculty:

Site and Partnership Development:

Community Engagement Center currently partners with over 80 organizations.  Community Engagement Center works with faculty to identify appropriate community partner(s), and ensures that placement sites have a valid contract ("Service Learning Agreement") with the University to address issues of risk management and liability. Community Engagement Center provides faculty support and best practices in every stage of development and implementation of a successful service learning course. 

Risk Management:

Community Engagement Center adheres to guiding principles (“best practices”) established by the CSU to reduce risk in service learning. For service learning courses registered with and maintained by Community Engagement Center, the center provides faculty, students, and community partners with the appropriate risk management forms, assists faculty in tracking student forms, and manages form data. The center also assists faculty by ensuring that faculty, students and community partners have valid risk management paperwork on file prior to allowing students to participate in service activities at community sites. As a service to faculty and students, Community Engagement Center maintains current identified risks provided by each community partner

The risk management process is part of a CSU system-wide effort to minimize faculty and university liability in service learning and to provide safe and positive learning experiences for students taking service learning courses. Adhering to this Risk Management process will ensure that you, as service learning faculty, are fully protected by the CSU. It is recommended that faculty become familiar with the risk management forms and processes required of students and their future partners in the community.

Workshops, brown bags and support:

Throughout the academic year Community Engagement Center will offer a variety of trainings. Past trainings have included: 

  • Service Learning: Getting Started
  • Course Design
  • Scholarship and Service Learning
  • Outcome Assessment and Reflection Tools
  • Incorporating Service Learning in Retention, Promotion and Tenure
  • Civic Learning

Getting Started

Service Learning - Getting Started (PDF)New Service Learning Faculty:

Faculty interested in developing a service learning course component are strongly encourage to attend Service Learning training workshops. Take a look at Getting Started in Service Learning - a checklist for new and returning faculty. For additional information on service learning and/or to find out how you can get involved, please email Community Engagement Center at Our staff look forward to working with you.

Continuing/Returning Service Learning Faculty:

If you are a continuing faculty (you taught a service learning course through Community Engagement Center last semester) or a returningfaculty (you previously taught a service learning course through the center) take a look at Getting Started in Service Learning - a checklist for new and returning faculty. Be sure to then complete the Faculty Course Profile (FCP) and submit a copy of your syllabi to register your upcoming course with Community Engagement Center.

Faculty Course Profile:

Please select a community partner from the following list of our approved community partners.  Community Engagement Center approved community partners must have a valid Service Learning Agreement (contract) on file with the university and the Community Engagement Center in order for students to be placed at the community partner site.

If a community agency is not listed, it is not currently approved to participate in service learning through Community Engagement Center.  The center provides faculty support in identifying and developing appropriate partnerships. As new partnerships are finalized, updated listings will be made available. Please note, new partnership development may take approximately 16 weeks.

Please identify in the FCP all approved community partners that you may be interested in working with. Community Engagement Center will work with you and the agency to help design an appropriate service learning project that is of mutual benefit to faculty, student and community.

Please click on the following link to complete the Faculty Course Profile using our interactive website and database.

Faculty Course Profile (FCP)


Please email a copy of your service learning course syllabus to Community Engagement Center prior to the first week of the semester.