Roles of Staff, Faculty, & Students
The Service-Learning Coordinator (SLC) is a full-time staff person responsible for maintaining ongoing relationships between Community Partners and the Feinstein Institute. The SLC helps to develop service placements appropriate for particular courses, maintains contact with community organizations throughout each semester to confirm that the placements are running successfully, and initiates whatever other steps are necessary to maintain the quality of service and service opportunities. The Service-Learning Coordinator organizes the service-learning orientation at the start of each semester that is a requirement for students in all service-learning courses to attend in which they will meet their Community Assistant/Liaison, learn about the important role service-learning plays in their course, the expectations for them as volunteers, and an opportunity to ask questions about their sites.
Faculty members are responsible for ensuring the overall academic quality of the service-learning courses, which includes the student’s service performed in the community. Although their specific roles will vary from class to class, they might initiate contact with community organizations to set up service opportunities for the students in their classes, volunteer with students at the organizations, or check with the Community Partner and Community Assistant periodically to assess their students’ progress.
Service-learning courses offered or supported by the Feinstein Institute typically require students to complete a minimum of 2-4 hours of service per week for the duration of the course (usually averaging to ~30 hours over the semester). At the beginning of the semester, the students are assisted in finding a service placement by the Service Learning Coordinator, the Community Assistants, and their professor. Their placement will be based off of a combination of factors including the sites assigned to their specific course, their availability, and their interest. Unless it is explicitly stated in a course syllabus, the service component of a course is not graded, however commitment and attitude at service is taken into consideration. Students are graded on what they learn from their experience and how they articulate this learning in their course assignment.