What Every Service-Learner Needs to Know

...about working with partner agencies

  • Remember service-learning is an opportunity for learning; take advantage of it. Take the initiative to be creative, share ideas, and ask questions. You only get out of it what you put into it! If you put effort into making this a good experience, it will become a good experience. It is all a matter of attitude.
  • Observe on your first visit. You can learn a lot by just watching for ways to help.
  • Realize that relationships will be made with the people you serve. They are depending on you! Whether you are tutoring or counseling, people are counting on you to be there.
  • Service goes two ways; you will give, but you will also receive.
  • Ask questions of the staff members so that you know what is expected of you. If serving for a course, tell them about the class you are taking, and what you are expected to learn from it.
  • Be professional in your attitude and appearance. Dress appropriately and be prompt and dependable.
  • Be clear about your schedule; how long and when you will be available to serve. ALWAYS call if you can’t come at the designated time. Let the agency supervisor know of college breaks when you won’t be able to come and find out if they have breaks (particularly if they are schools) so you don’t show up and find no one there.
  • When you are working at a community organization, there should always be a supervisor from the organization on site with you, as a safeguard for you and for the organization.
  • As a rule you should have no contact outside the supervised situation with a client or community member. Do not give your phone number or address to any client and do not travel alone with a client.

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