Service Learning

What is Service Learning?

Service Learning is an intentional and structured community service experience that enhances classroom learning. The Center for Service in Action supports faculty to develop service learning courses, identify appropriate community partners, and place students in local community partner agencies. These courses allow students to engage in service, typically 12-14 hours per quarter, and reflect on their social responsibility.

The Center for Service in Action also administratively supports faculty teaching service learning courses by providing the following services:

  • Coordination of placement sessions where community partner agency representatives come to campus for classroom presentation (includes providing parking to those agency representatives)
  • Timekeeping of all student service hours
  • Risk management compliance with all community partners (contracts, liability insurance, etc.)
  • Compilation reporting back to faculty at end of term in time for grading
  • Facilitate critical reflection to ensure realization of learning outcomes, and to help students make meaning out of their learning

If you are a nonprofit agency that would like to partner with Cal Poly's Service Learning program, please download the Community Partner Agreement.

If you are are a student completing hours for a service learning class, please download this timesheet to track your hours. Click Here

For more information on transcript notation, click here.

For more information about Service Learning in Academic Affairs, please visit

Service Learning - Student Success Fee Initiative

The Service Learning initiative supported by the student success fee was first implemented during the 2012-13 academic year to support expansion of Service Learning to focus on addressing the WASC recommendation related to diversity. The approach is to increase the number of Service Learning courses, review current service learning courses for alignment with the Diversity Learning Objectives (DLOs), and gather evidence to document the linkage between Service Learning and the DLOs.

Some of Our Community Partners Include:

CAPSLO - Community Action Partnership-SLO 

ECHO - El Camino Homeless Organization

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County

Garden House -- Residential dementia care

Growing Grounds - Transitions Mental Health Association

Meals That Connect - formerly Senior Nutrition Program

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