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Service Designation

Apply for Designation

Academic courses that incorporate civic engagement pedagogy may be designated in the schedule of courses as having a service component. This designation will signify that the course uses a civic engagement or service-learning (service) component to reach intended learning outcomes. In addition to relating theory to practice, this service enhances our students’ sense of citizenry in a democratic society.

Any course which requires or allows civic engagement (i.e. volunteering, public service, campaigning, outreach, etc.) can be evaluated for an "S" designation which signifies that the courses uses a civic engagement or service-learning component to reach intended learning outcomes. This distinction will allow for all courses with a service component to be recognized and accounted for during relevant assessments. Courses submitted will be evaluated to see if they meet criteria for S designation. Courses that not only involve service but also utilize service-learning pedagogy will receive “SL” classification.

The “S” course must meet the following criteria:

  • Course could range from 1-6 credit hours and includes 4 or more hours of service related activities.
  • Service aims at the development of civic education for participants in addition to fulfilling learning outcome(s). 
  • Course options ensure that no student is required to participate in a service placement that creates a religious, political, and/or moral conflict for the student.

In order to be categorized as a Service-Learning course, the class must also meet the following criteria:    

  • Service to the community is reciprocal and is determined based on the community’s needs.   
  • Academic material is clearly linked to the service experience.
  • Explicit reflection activities are utilized to assess the learning outcomes tied to the service activity.

Designation Process

1. Submit an electronic version of the syllabus to the CSL at

2. The CSL will review to determine if the course meets the criteria and follow up for any additional information needed

3. The course will be reviewed and approved by the Service-Learning Faculty Advisory Committee

4. You will be notified about the designation decision

5. The CSL will notify the registrar’s office to add the service attribute to your course unless you would prefer this not to appear

Further Information

For more details see our S Designation Info Sheet

If you would like representatives from the CSL to provide you or your unit Service-Learning or Civic Engagement development sessions, please contact Lindsey Rinehart at

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