Serving With Others The Regis College Center for Service Learning (CSL), partners with faculty, students and the public to connect the academic objectives of courses across the disciplines to specific assets and needs in our community. Through these partnerships, we work together to transform hearts, minds and our world by applying engaged learning teachings to traditional coursework. Standing within the Catholic and Jesuit traditions, we strive not only to meet rigorous academic objectives, but also to challenge students to explore diverse perspectives, create meaningful relationships, develop a critical consciousness and serve as positive agents of social change for local and global justice. Service Learning (SL), is specific in terms of its intended outcomes and principle focus. We are called to promote justice and to discern the influence of our actions from the perspective of the marginalized, critically examining the structures of power, privilege, and difference in our society that perpetuate racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, poverty, ethnocentrism, and violence. As we work alongside marginalized people, we develop our capacity to listen and to learn from individuals who are not often heard or valued in our culture. Over time, we can grow in solidarity with them and begin to see society as an integrated, diverse whole. As members of this whole, we are not able to easily forget, dismiss, or distance ourselves from the people on the fringes of society or their experiences. We glimpse the relational nature of justice, and are hopefully transformed to rise to meet the challenge of becoming women and men in service of creating a more just society. Our goal is not simply for students to experience and gain a deeper understanding of the voices of the marginalized in our midst, but rather, for students – tomorrow’s leaders – to formatively learn about and acquire the tools through which to challenge and change the inequitable systems and structures of society. Introducing, Developing and Integrating Service Learning Articulate for students specific course objectives and how service/community based experiences will provide the text to fulfill them. Specify the desired outcomes for students in terms of their service experience and its link to course content so that they can strive to meet them. Develop ways to integrate course content across texts – keeping in mind that the community is one text. Challenge students and yourself to learn together, to go beyond the text, to ask the deeper questions which emerge when we strive to work toward a more just society. Ask for the support you need to make the learning experience successful in your course. Well-facilitated Reflection Is ongoing, with regular opportunities for guided and purposeful reflection from the outset of the course to the close of the semester. Responds to the diversity of learning styles of students with multiple forms of written and oral reflection, individually and in small and large groups. Is embedded in the assessment component of the course in order to communicate to students that connections between content and community service are valued. Calls on open-ended questions that allow for creativity to surface, such as “How might this look different?” Challenges each student to assess the knowledge, values, and skills he or she brings to the project. Leaves some cognitive and topical issues open for ongoing discussion to encourage reflection between class sessions. Evaluating Service Learning Assign grades to reflect the processing of students' experience and not the service hours alone. Look for ways to evaluate analytical skills, communication skills, and critical thinking and judgment through paper, presentation, and discussion grades. Create assignments that require students to integrate course content and service experience. Consider asking service supervisors to submit student evaluation forms that may or may not contribute to students' course grade through incentive points. As in any other course, students' final grades in a service-learning course should reflect academic development and skill application.