Suggested Timeline

While it’s conceivable to produce an outstanding service course in less time, we recommend a full 12 months of thought and preparation. It IS possible to shorten this timeline if the situation aligns. Please contact us if you'd like to do this more quickly.

This page lays out a suggested timeline with links to relevant pages. This timeline is also available in PDF format


12 Months Before

OPTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP: Consider potential research to conduct in concert with your service

 The Semester Before

  • Reconnect with community partner to orchestrate service activities and build your relationship
  • Finalize course logistics (objectives, assignments, assessment plan) [ideally with your partner]
  • Draft syllabus (include details of service learning & service SLOs); [ideally with your partner] - sample coming soon

OPTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP: Literature review, IRB if applicable, identify potential journals for eventual submission, invite your community partner to collaborate (some journals mandate community-university collaboration) 

The Month Before

  • Apply for course support funds as needed
  • Send introductory email to students introducing Service Learning
  • Meet with your community partner to finalize activities and plans; orchestrate orientation & training
  • Request OSLCE representative for customizable "Introduction to Service Learning" session early in the semester

OPTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP: Finalize plans for data collection 

During the Semester

OPTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP: Data collection throughout the semester 

Weeks 1-2
  • Prep students for their service experience with orientation and training
    - consider having your community partner &/or someone from OSLCE address your class
  • Confirm schedules for service. Complete service contracts and background checks if needed
  • Engage students in pre-service reflection exploring their understanding and expectations 
Weeks 3-13
  • Students begin service as early as possible
  • Consider having students share their service contracts with community partners
  • Guide students through iterative reflection tying service, course content, and social impact
      - Consider these steps: orient/disorient, explore, connect, discuss, evaluate, then repeat
      - See "Reflection" on the Course Development page for ideas, strategies, & tools
Weeks 14-15
  • Students complete their service and secure their partner's signature on a Service Verification form
  • Students complete their SLO assessments and any other summative assessments desired
  • Celebrate the service (ideally together with the community partner and people served)  
  • Share about the service with others – beyond the course and partnership

Closing Out the Semester

  • Submit students SLO assessments
  • Complete the Hours Served report
  • Meet with your community partner to assess the collaboration and plan for next time
  • Provide feedback to OSLCE. What would enhance your experience? What can we do better?
  • Inquire about a Service Story. We have a template for stories and would be delighted to highlight you!

OPTIONAL SCHOLARSHIP: Analyze data, draft paper 

March 15-31

  • Nominate yourself, your students, &/or your community partner for a Service Award

First Thursday of Final Exams