Whether serving as an instructor in one of our 100+ classes each semester that integrate service-learning or serving as an advisor for our amazing student organizations, we are proud of our faculty and staff and aim to provide this page as a resource.
Please reach out to Justin Fitzgerald, Director of Community Engagement, with any questions or concerns.
Service-Learning Course AttributeToggle More Info
The Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, with the support of the Registrar’s Office, identifies courses each semester that integrate service-learning using the SRVC attribute in Gulfline. Registered SRVC courses will also include the standard comment "This course includes an integrated service-learning requirement." in the comment box. This attribute is very beneficial to faculty members promoting their service-learning courses, students who are looking for course-based service-learning options, advisors who are assisting students with their schedules, and our office for record keeping and reports.
We strongly encourage all faculty to complete the Service-Learning Canvas Training Module before integrating service-learning into your class(es). This training module provides each of our service-learning instructors (new and returning) with the latest best practices, effective strategies, new resources, frameworks, and shared terminology within the field of service-learning. It also provides an opportunity to bring all instructors to a common level of knowledge while providing you a resource point to return to as needed throughout each semester. When you complete the training module and final survey, you will receive a certificate of completion signed by the Provost for your professional development files. To gain access and complete the Canvas training module, please contact Justin Fitzgerald, Director of Community Engagement at email@example.com.
Objective-Based Service-Learning GuideToggle More Info
FGCU’s most successful service-learning classes follow the objective-based service-learning model. Within the class setting, it is never recommended to assign a specific number of service-learning hours for your students to complete. This can distract from the larger project objectives that should be set between students and the community partners they are setting out to serve.
Student Submission of Service-Learning HoursToggle More Info
The best way to ensure students submit their service-learning hours with the university is to have them submit a screenshot from Eagle Service Network as an assignment in Canvas. A screenshot should be submitted once after their community partner is approved and again after their total service-learning hours for the semester are electronically verified by their community partner. Students should submit their community partner for approval as soon as their partner is confirmed. Students should track their final number of service-learning hours in Eagle Service Network no later than two weeks prior to the last class meeting. This provides the best chance for a community partner to have time to receive, review, and electronically verify a student’s hours are correct. Screenshot examples are shown in the Objective-Based Service-Learning Guide.
Frequently Asked QuestionsToggle More Info
How can I help students locate a community partner?
- Community Partner Database
Students can also use the online Community Partner Database and browse community partners by location, category, or Sustainable Development Goal under “advanced search.”
- Service-Learning Fairs
Adding the Service-Learning Fair to your syllabus at the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester is a good start to acquaint students with a large number of potential community partners in a short amount of time.
- Service-Learning Opportunities on Eagle Link
Our publicly available Eagle Link page is full of opportunities posted by nonprofits and government agencies looking for assistance. You can use the search box on the left-hand side to narrow the topic. Even if a partner hasn’t posted the exact opportunity your students may be interested in, these partners here tend to be the most involved and may entertain other ideas your students have.
- Reach Out
If you’ve tried the above options and you still haven’t found a nonprofit or government agency partner with your students, please reach out to Justin Fitzgerald, Director of Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generally speaking, the more you integrate service-learning into your courses, the more you will build relationships in the community and the easier it will be to help students locate appropriate partners according to the needs of the community partner and the goals of the project.
How can I ensure students enter in their service-learning hours?
Adding specific benchmarks into your course syllabus will help to ensure the students accurately track and upload their hours into the Eagle Service Network (ESN).
For example, set up an assignment at the beginning of the semester that requires the student to enter a record in the Eagle Service Network. Setting aside time in class to walk students through this process is helpful for students new to service-learning. You can also request a presentation from the Office for Service-Learning & Civic Engagement HERE, to walk your students through the process.
Students can also submit Service-Learning Logs that track their individual service hours and at the conclusion of the semester, students can take those hours and submit a screenshot of their completed Eagle Service record to an assignment. Hint: You can add THIS VIDEO to a Canvas announcement for helpful step-by-step instructions for students.
In general, every resource, best practice, or tip, is on the Service-Learning 101 Student Resource page.
Will my entire course have to be adjusted should I choose to integrate service-learning?
This is a common misconception but the answer is simply, no. Chances are you have an existing assignment that, with a few minor tweaks, will allow for easy service-learning integration. For example, pretend you teach Introduction To Teaching and have a lesson/module on “How to Write Lesson Plans.” Instead of telling them to pick any topic to practice writing a lesson plan, we have many community partners that need lesson plans written for them (i.e. “why recycling is important”; “what purpose do protected wetlands serve”; etc.). Instead of having your students do hypothetical work; give them the opportunity to do exactly the same assignment using real information – plus they get to count those hours toward their service-learning requirement.
Allowing students to gain real-world experience and career-readiness skills by applying what they are learning in class to benefit a community partner is the beauty of this type of work in your classroom. Whether it is direct or indirect service, advocacy, or research, your course work could easily fit inside one or more of these service-learning frameworks.
What should I do if my students experience an issue with a community partner?
There could be a variety of reasons why students may encounter an issue with a community partner and it is usually a simple fix. Whether an agency representative isn’t returning a student’s email (call them) or the volunteer coordinator has left the position, this is something students may need your assistance in figuring out the next, logical and responsible step. In these situations, it is also helpful for students to understand that may need to move on to their second or third choice of community partner for logistical and timing purposes.
There are cases where the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement is unaware of the issue and if there are communication issues, we are happy to help resolve the matter. If students experience larger, more complex issues, these are handled on a case-by-case basis and the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement should be alerted.
Is there a way for students to showcase the service-learning work they complete?
Yes! Community Engagement Day at Eagle X is an end-of-year celebration showcasing the service-learning work students are completing at Florida Gulf Coast University. Students and faculty submit projects under a variety of award categories for a chance to win prizes and recognition. It is recommended that faculty build this important event into your syllabus. Updated information can always be found HERE.
You can also encourage graduating seniors to apply for the Civic Engagement Award.
Where do I go for support in creating service-learning projects and objectives in my course?
The Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement is always happy to help. Please contact email@example.com at any time for assistance.