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7 Best Practices

All Independent Service Learning Activities must meet these best practices:

1. The Student Meets a Recognized Need in the Community.

  • Examines pressing community needs. (preparation)
  • Strategizes to address problems associated with community needs. (preparation)
  • Provides direct, indirect, and/or advocacy service. (action)

2. The Student Achieves Curricular Objectives.

  • Uses academic standards to establish mastery objectives.  (preparation)
  • Applies academic learning to recognized community needs.  (preparation, reflection, action)
  • Assesses progress towards and attainment of mastery objectives.  (preparation, action)

3. The Student Gains Necessary Knowledge and Skills.

  • Explores citizenship and career options.  (preparation, action)
  • Understands expectations associated with participation.  (preparation)
  • Cooperates with team members and community partners.  (action)

4. The Student Plans Ahead.

  • Identifies tasks, timelines and outcomes. (preparation)
  • Assesses own skills and interests.  (preparation)
  • Takes leadership opportunities.  (preparation, action)

5. The Student Works with Existing Service Organizations.

  • Identifies nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations with which to partner.  (preparation)
  • Creates collaborative, reciprocal relationships through involvement.  (action)
  • Respects the human dignity and contributions of others.  (action, reflection)

6. The Student Develops Responsibility.

  • Evaluates own performance.  (reflection)
  • Strengthens character through civic engagement.  (action)
  • Participates in a range of service opportunities.  (action)

7. The Student Reflects Throughout the Experience.

  • Evaluates overall impact of service and learning.  (reflection)
  • Analyzes what was learned from multiple perspectives.  (reflection)
  • Explores next steps to continue service-learning involvement.  (reflection)