Cal Poly Community Based Learning
About Service Learning
People of Service Learning
Cal Poly Service Learning

This section is full of helpful how-tos that can guide you in developing and creating a service learning course. See what you can do to and how the Community CENTER and the Center for Teaching and Learning can help!

Documents and Resources

Initial Steps Flowchart (pdf)
An easy-to-follow flowchart that will help you get started.

Service Learning Curriculum Development Framework (pdf)
Useful information for developing your curriculum.

Cal Poly Curriculum Handbook
A link to the Cal Poly Curriculum Handbook on the Academic Programs Website.

Components of a Service Learning Course Syllabus (pdf)
Guidelines for creating a Service Learning course syllabus, along with models of syllabi from faculty members who teach Service Learning courses.

Excerpts of Syllabi with Service Learning Components:

Service Learning Course Designation Criteria

  1. The service learning component supports the academic focus of the course.
  2. The course requires at least ten (10) hours of academically relevant service to a client.
  3. The service learning requirement is described in the syllabus.
  4. The course includes an "Introduction to the purposes, goals, and pedagogy of service learning."
  5. The course includes structured opportunities throughout the quarter for critical reflection on the community service experience and connections to the course.
  6. The service sites are evaluated and approved by the instructor and/or the Center for Community Volunteerism and Service Learning.
  7. The service provided addresses identified community needs.
  8. The course requires a contract of requirements for completing the service activity with timelines/deadlines.
  9. The course requires a report from the agency verifying student participation and the impact of the service on the agency.
  10. The course requires a final student evaluation of the service experience and how learning was impacted.

Instructors should be aware that it is critical for the Community Center at Cal Poly, located in Building 65, Room 217, to be informed of all agency placements.

For more information, please contact Stephan Lamb at

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Last Update: 05/13/2009

Service Learning
University Honors Program
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, Ca 93407
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