Community Service Learning

Apply for a Service-Learning Assistant

Now accepting faculty applications for Service-Learning Assistants!

Faculty who teach courses with service-learning components are encouraged to apply for a student Service-Learning Assistant (SLA) as a way to contribute to the development, facilitation and sustainability of service-learning opportunities at Willamette University.

What can an SLA do?

SLA positions are limited-stipend and internship positions intended to support new service-learning offerings at Willamette and/or contribute to the success and sustainability of existing service-learning courses. Students who earn internship credit will be expected to contribute 55-60 hours toward the SLA position over the course of the semester.

Responsibilities of SLA’s are negotiated between the faculty member and SLA in consultation with the CSL Office. Responsibilities can 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; and
  • developing sustainability 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 CSL Office may propose a candidate to the relevant faculty member for consideration.

In addition to identifying the proposed SLA, the faculty member will also be expected to:

  • develop clear expectations of an SLA role as it applies to the relevant course;
  • meet with the SLA before the first day of class to review expectations and, if the student is receiving internship credit, to sign the Learning Outcomes Agreement (The SLA will be asked to initiate contact with the faculty member to arrange for this meeting after an initial training.);
  • meet with the SLA on an ongoing basis throughout the semester for planning, check-in, support, and evaluation;
  • trust the SLA, supporting meaningful opportunities (e.g., development/facilitation of reflection, 1-1’s with students) for the SLA to develop skills and competencies that will serve them beyond their current position; and
  • participate in end-of-semester evaluation of the SLA as well as of the Service-Learning Assistant program overall.

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 CSL Office provide?

The CSL Office will provide a two-hour training to SLA’s shortly following selection. (Exact time to be confirmed by CSL Office in consultation with selected SLAs.) This training will provide students with a description of the roles of the CSL Office, 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.

The CSL Office will conduct 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.

The CSL Office, in coordination with Career Services, will work 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.

The CSL Office will provide opportunity for the faculty member and the student to evaluate the faculty and student roles, as well as the SLA program overall.

The CSL Office will provide 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. As part of the narrative portion of the application, faculty will develop a description of the SLA role and responsibilities as they relate to the classroom.
  3. A list of student SLA applicants will be available for faculty to contact following the sixth week of the current semester. Faculty are also welcome to identify and select students of their choosing who are not on the list.
  4. Faculty will identify and reach out to potential SLA candidates, share with them the expectations for the position, and confirm the following information:
    1. The student is willing and available to serve as an SLA for the relevant course, including being available to attend the relevant service-learning course as needed;
    2. whether the student would prefer to receive internship credit and/or a limited stipend as an SLA;
    3. if the student elects to receive internship credit, what department they would like to have that credit associated with. If no specific department or program of study is indicated, the CSL Office can make arrangements for the student to receive elective credit through the Career Services Office.
  5. Faculty will complete the application and submit to the CSL Office with a copy of the relevant course syllabus, if available.

Applications may be sent electronically to 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.