Service Learning

Cal Poly Community Based Learning


What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a blend of classroom learning and community service. Students attend class as they normally would, then apply their learning through organized service with community organizations. Through their service, students are able to reinforce the topics they learn in class, and even expand their knowledge.

How do I get Involved?

You came here to “Learn by Doing”. Service learning courses provide the opportunity to “Learn by Doing Good” in the local (and global) community. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of courses that incorporate the opportunity to do Service Learning here at Cal Poly. Simply sign up for them as you would with any other course.

You can also join one of the local service learning projects or take part in global service learning (links are out of date or not available)

Current Students

If you are are a student completing hours for a service learning class, please download this form, sign it, and drop it off in UU 217 before beginning your service.

If you are are a student completing hours for a service learning class, please download this time sheet to track your hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do service learning courses count for different amounts of credit?

Service learning classes count for the same amount of credit as regular sections of the same class, as they fulfill all of the same educational requirements

Are service learning courses more work?

In most cases, service learning courses are no more work; just different work. Classes are redesigned to include service instead of adding on top of usual requirements. You can arrange service work around your schedule, and some classes even do service during class time.

What are some benefits of taking a service learning course?

What better way is there to learn by doing than by doing good?

Some common benefits of service learning are are:

  • Learn experiences outside of the classroom
  • Develop job skills such as critical thinking and working with diverse populations
  • Apply academic knowledge and course content in "real world" situations
  • Develop a sense of community and civic responsibility

How else can I get involved in the community?

The Center for Community Engagement is designed to connect students with community service opportunities. Stop by and see them in room E22 in the UU (Building 52) or check out their website.

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