CSU Service-Learning Definitions

The following CSU systemwide definitions provide important distinctions for this resource guide, which is intended to cover the intricacies of risk mitigation as they relate specifically to service learning.

Service Learning* (referred to as Community-Based Learning on some CSU campuses):  Service Learning is a teaching method in which meaningful service is a critical component of course curriculum and assessment of student learning. It is characterized by critical reflection and a collaborative partnership among the instructor, students, and community, with a focus on both student learning and community impact. 

Service-Learning Course*: An academic course (in any discipline) that provides students opportunities to participate in organized service activities that meet identified community focus areas while linking the community service experiences to the course content. This makes service learning a very different experience than other forms of curricular community-engaged learning. 

* CSU Office of the Chancellor writing style guide: the term service learning is hyphenated when used as a description preceding a noun (service-learning program). Uppercase is used when the name of a specific program is mentioned (the Office of Community Service Learning at CSU Stanislaus).