Service Learning FAQs
1. When does service learning (SL) begin and are there any days off?
SL vans generally run from mid September until the last day of classes. There is no SL on EU holidays: Fall Free Days and Thanksgiving. Your site may start later or have special days off listed in the site descriptions in the yellow packet.
2. Is transportation provided?
If you can provide your own transportation, you can set up your own hours independent from the van schedule at one of the indicated Own Hours sites. For those that need it, regular van transportation is provided to/from the large gym parking lot. Be sure to show up 5-10 minutes before the van is scheduled to leave; drivers are instructed to leave on time!
3. How are the hours documented and who keeps track of the service learning hours?
SL hours must be documented in writing! Students are responsible for documenting their SL hours by signing the same Verification of Hours form each visit to the site. Usually, the forms for students on vans will be in a binder at the site while Own Hours students will carry their forms with them. The site supervisor will initial the hours worked and evaluate your service. At the completion of their service, the student is responsible for returning the Verification of Hours form to their professor. Some sites have their own volunteer sign in process which does not substitute for the Verification forms. Students who had permission to serve over the summer (athletes and EQUIP) must also turn in Verification forms.
Two other “sources” of hours: Four hours for Mayor’s Clean-up Day will be documented by TA’s taking attendance and credit hours (explained in #7 below) will be emailed to the professor in December.
4. When is the Verification of Hours form due? How can I get another one?
Hours are usually due early December; INST 150 professors set the due date in the syllabus. If you lose your Verification form, download another at http://www.eastern.edu/student-life/office-faith-practice/service-learning
5. How do I find out when there’s a last minute change or cancellation?
Any changes in schedule will be communicated to you through Eastern email. Set yours up and check your e-mail on the days you have SL. All students, including commuters, have been assigned an EU email address and are responsible for messages sent there.
6. What should I do when I can’t go (sickness, home emergency, etc)?
Your site will expect you every week; SL is a regular part of your schedule. Please be responsible as with a job, and call your site supervisor ahead of time when you can’t make it. This will affect your SL grade. Also, be sure to tell your site supervisor when you are done serving and will not be returning. The chief complaint about Eastern students is that they don’t notify their site when they are not coming.
7. What if there’s a mix up with the van (it isn’t there, no driver, etc) and we can’t go?
First wait at least 15 minutes. Then everyone who showed up should sign a piece of paper with the date and an explanation and send the list to Walton 1a. Also call the site to let them know you won’t be coming. If that procedure is followed then credit hours will be emailed to your professor at the end of the semester. Credit will not be given if a change was communicated in advance by e-mail, students miss their ride or forget that it was a day off. If classes are cancelled due to a weather emergency, those hours will be credited. There is currently no system for giving credit hours for Own Hours students since those hours are not scheduled through the Office of Faith & Practice.
8. Does travel time count as Service Learning time?
No, you receive credit only for the time you’re on site, so you may be gone 2.5 hours but only serve 2 hours.
9. Is Service Learning the same as Federal Work Study Community Service? Can my Federal Work Study job count as my SL?
Service learning and community service are different; Federal Work Study jobs cannot count as SL and service learning sites do not qualify for FWS. Please contact the Student Employment Counselor for more information.
10. Can I go to more than one site or find my own site? What if my schedule has changed?
Students ideally serve at one site since consistency is crucial for the SL experience and building relationships. The sites offered have been carefully screened to fit INST 150 content, and there is a great deal of variety so everyone should be able to find something to their liking. Any changes to a different site require Megan Acedo’s permission. Commuters with potential service sites near home can petition Megan for individual approval.