Community Service Learning

Apply for a Service-Learning Assistant

Now accepting faculty applications for Service-Learning Assistants!


Faculty are encouraged to apply for a student Service Learning Assistant (SLA) in order to develop, facilitate, and implement successful service learning opportunities in the classroom as a collaborative effort that emphasizes the role of peer mentor leadership in conjunction with student participation in the real world. 

What can an SLA do?

Service-Learning Assistants (SLA) are meant to aid in any or all stages of a service-learning project meeting the general learning outcomes of the class, promoting themes of community service, helping students complete their projects, and following through with reflection of service.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Introducing concepts of service- learning to students
  • Leading service- learning in-class and on-site orientations
  • Attending relevant sessions of the service-learning course
  • Assisting with the coordination of student placements
  • Ongoing problem-solving support for student peers (e.g., office hours, one-on-ones, on-call availability, on-site interactions, etc.)
  • Distributing and collecting relevant service-learning course documents (contracts, background checks, time sheets, etc.)
  • Facilitating in-class or on-site reflection activities
  • Analyzing community partner, student, and faculty evaluations
  • Developing sustainable materials for faculty

SLA’s who elect to receive internship credit for their work will be expected to complete a culminating project as part of the position. The nature of this project will be negotiated between the faculty member and SLA in consultation with the CSL Office.

What are the responsibilities of the faculty member?

It is encouraged that faculty identify and recruit a student who is willing and available to serve as an SLA during the indicated semester. This student must also be available to attend the relevant service-learning course as needed (e.g., no irreconcilable schedule conflicts related to class or employment).

If the faculty member is unable to identify a student candidate, the Office of Community Service-Learning may propose a candidate to the relevant faculty member for consideration.

The primary responsibilities of the faculty are providing the structure and space for the SLA to work cooperatively in reaching service-learning outcomes for the class.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Developing clear expectations of the SLA role, including a calendar of responsibilities
  • Hold one-on-one meetings with the SLA and faculty member before duties formally begin (e.g. before class)
  • Set a consistent meeting time with SLA throughout the semester
  • Work collaboratively to facilitate the development or fine tuning of leadership and organizational skills of the SLA by providing ample opportunities
  • Participate in end of semester debrief and reflection between the SLA and the Office of Community Service Learning

The faculty member will play a key role in ensuring that the SLA position provides the student with opportunities to grow personally and professionally. With this in mind, the faculty member will be asked to relate to the SLA not only as a direct supervisor, but as an advisor and mentor as well.

What will the Office of Community Service Learning provide?

The SLA program is managed by the Office of Community Service Learning and an SLA Coordinator. The primary responsibilities of the Office of Community Service Learning and the SLA Coordinator include:

  • Providing a two-hour training to SLA’s shortly following selection. This training will provide students with a description of the roles of the Office of Community Service Learning, the faculty member, and Career Services (for students receiving internship credit) as they relate to the SLA position; and will develop a foundation of knowledge relating to the nature and outcomes of service-learning, and effective practices for guided reflection and communication with community partners.
  • Conducting two one-on-one meetings each with the faculty member and the SLA over the course of the semester to gauge the position’s/program’s progress toward achieving expectations, as well as to identify areas for support.
  • In coordination with Career Services, working with the SLA and the faculty member to ensure that administrative requirements for providing internship credit are satisfied by all parties if the SLA elects to receive internship credit.
  • Offering opportunity for the faculty member and the student to evaluate the faculty and student roles, as well as the SLA program overall.
  • Providing on-call support to the SLA, the faculty member, and the SL course in the case that alternative resources or solutions cannot be identified or carried out by the SLA or faculty member.

Application Process

  1. Faculty will download an electronic version of the SLA application.
  2. Faculty will develop a description of the SLA role and responsibilities as they relate to the classroom. (See SLA Application – Narrative Portion)
  3. Faculty will identify and reach out to potential SLA candidates, share with them the expectations for the position.
  4. Faculty will complete the application and submit to the Office of Community Service with a copy of the relevant course syllabus, if available.

Applications may be sent electronically to service@willamette.edu or through campus mail to Community Service Learning, UC 2nd Floor.

Please Note:

Applications for SLA’s are competitive, as limited spaces are available to support proposed student assistants.

The CSL Office may be unable to support student SLA positions in the event of a limited number of applicants. In this event, all faculty applicants will be informed in a timely manner of the circumstances.

Faculty: Interested in applying for an SLA? Applications are available here! A downloadable info sheet is available here.