What is Service-Learning?

Service-Learning is a teaching and learning method in which students provide meaningful service in the community to help them better understand what they are learning in their college courses. Service-Learning focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, personal development, and community responsibility. General layout of Service-Learning courses requires 60 hours of direct service and seminars throughout the semester.

Are all Service-Learning courses the same?

No; some Service-Learning courses are more general and focus on a broad view of service. The sites to choose from vary by subject area; other Service-Learning courses are issue based, which means that the course focuses on one specific issue and the service sites are related to that issue; and other Service-Learning courses are project based, which means that the service is not necessarily contained to one site, but may span across sites in order to complete a specific project.

Do I need instructor approval to take Service-Learning courses?

Instructor approval is not required for Service-Learning courses.

Are Service-Learning courses required?

Service-Learning courses are not specifically required, however, if you are working from the new general curriculum (effective fall 2006) then Service-Learning courses can fulfill either an ECCE Engagement or ECCE Elective general requirement.

What is an ECCE requirement?

ECCE stands for Engaged Citizenship Common Experience and refers to a set of courses tied to UIS’ heritage, mission, vision, and values. All undergraduates are required to take a minimum of 13 hours in ECCE. These courses provide a distinctive element to the baccalaureate education at UIS, and encourage a commitment to making a difference in the world. Most of the coursework in this category is interdisciplinary and is designed to help students recognize the value of multiple perspectives. See the following link for more information: ECCE Information

Can I fulfill my ECCE Engagement and ECCE Elective requirements by taking two Service-Learning courses, or can I only use Service-Learning courses to fulfill one of these requirements?

You can take one Service-Learning course to fulfill either the ECCE Engagement or ECCE Elective requirements. If you are wanting to fulfill both requirements with Service-Learning than you must take two different Service-Learning courses.

Can I still take a Service-Learning course if I am not working from the new general curriculum (effective fall 2006)?

Yes; you can take a Service-Learning course as an elective.

Can I pick any non-profit agency to do my service hours at?

The Service-Learning Program has pre-approved sites to chose from. If you wish to do your service hours at another site you will need to contact 217-206-6640 to get your site approved. A determining factor in site approval is the ability of the agency to provide feedback to you (the student) and to the professor at various times during the semester.

Can I use my current job as a service site for a Service-Learning course?

No. The purpose of Service-Learning courses is to provide needed service to the community, and if you are already working and getting paid at an agency then that need is already filled. You might be able to do an Internship (for ECCE Engagement and elective) where you currently work.
See the IPL office for details or call 217-206-6640.

Can I complete my service hours at more than one service site?

In order to provide the best quality service, and to make your assignments easier, only one service site per course is allowed.

What service sites are approved by the Service-Learning program?

Sites that have been approved in the past include St. John’s Breadline, Animal Protective League, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, and the Regional Office of Education, to name a few. See Resources for ideas and contact information.

How far in advance should I start preparing/registering for a Service-Learning course?

Service-Learning courses can be registered for at the same time that you register for your other classes. However, if you plan on doing your service hours where you would be working directly with children you need to start a month or more in advance; it takes a few weeks for background checks to go through. You can still serve at this site even if you do not start early, however, you cannot complete any of your service hours until the background check is done. However, you will have to catch up on your hours throughout the semester.

What is the Service-Learning Immersion course?

The Immersion course involves students becoming fully immersed in a service experience. The Service-Learning program offered its first Summer Immersion Program in Summer 2008. Students enrolled in this course worked with the non-profit organization, Union Rescue Mission, in Los Angeles, CA, where they provided much needed assistance to the homeless individuals that the Mission serves.