Student FAQs

How is service learning different from community service?

Both service learning and community service meet a need in the community. However, service learning is specifically designed to meet course objectives through the application of learning in a community-based service environment. As an example, picking up trash on a river bank is a service. Studying water under a microscope is learning. When science students collect and analyze water samples, document their results, and present their findings to the water district, that is academic service learning.

Is an internship considered service learning?

Because internships are not normally connected to a course where the experience can be connected to course objectives, they are not usually considered service learning. If an internship or practicum is taken along with a seminar course where there is an opportunity for reflection, the experience would be considered service learning.

How can I register for a service-learning course?

You can contact the Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity to locate a service-learning course that meets your interests. If a course that you would like to take does not have a service component, encourage your professors and department chairs to integrate service learning in their courses. Be sure to inform them that the Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity is able to provide assistance in service-learning course development.

If I electronically sign a liability waiver on the Involvement Center powered by OrgSync, do I need to sign a waiver at my host site?

Yes. A community organization may have its own waiver that will stay at the site. The waiver on the Involvement Center is for UNLV records and is mandatory in order to participate in a service activity.

How do I log my volunteer hours?

Please refer to your course syllabus or instructor for instructions on how to log your volunteer hours. Some instructors may require that you log your volunteer hours on Involvement Center powered by OrgSync. At the end of your service, your host site supervisor will verify your hours. Once the hours have been verified, they will be released to your course instructor for review.

Does UNLV provide transportation to and from the community organization?

No. Students are required to secure their own transportation to and from the organization. Every effort is taken to ensure that service sites are made available on the UNLV campus or close to campus. However, this cannot be guaranteed, as sites and volunteer spots are limited.

What if I feel like I’m required to do busy work for my service-learning experience?

The work that you are performing at a community organization, no matter how menial it may seem, is providing a huge service to the agency. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your service time to learn more about the community organization’s mission and work in the community. The better you understand your service experience, the better you will be able to relate the experience to your course assignments.

How can I volunteer without taking a service-learning course?

There are several ways to get involved without taking a service-learning course.