Community Service

February 1, 2001

This course is designed for students who are interested in learning more about different aspects of Community Service. One major focus of the course is to examine how community empowerment brings about organizational changes. Students will learn about the resources available to people for revitalizing their communities. Special emphasis will be given to the understanding of values of diversity and ethics in community services.

A major focus of the course is to examine how nonprofit human service organizations develop the processes and structures of community planning and utilize volunteers. Students will have the opportunity to examine projects in community service as case studies.

Finally, students will have the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills in community service strategies, tactics, and techniques, including the art of volunteerism.

Following the completion of this course, students will have knowledge of:

1. The history and philosophy of community service.
2. The nature and magnitude of community problems, such as unemployment, housing, substance abuse etc., in the Greater Cleveland area.
3. Processes, structures and collaboration in community service.
4. Basic strategies and tactics utilized by groups and/or organizations to maintain or improve the quality of life in their communities.
5. Selective communities across the country have used public and private resources for community services.
6. The socially defined consequences and expectations of sex, race, ethnicity, age, gender preference, religion, and social class in community service.
7. Different ways to conduct the outcome evaluations of community service activities.
8. Critical and analytic thinking and written expression.
9. Library skills and the Internet in the identification of community resources.

Following the completion of this course, students will have skills in:

1. The process of information and referral systems in the human service agencies.
2. Mobilizing human and other community resources to encourage empowerment and self-sufficiency among low-income individuals.
3. The use of a variety of community service strategies for neighborhoodrevitalization.
4. The art of volunteering in a nonprofit organization.

Students are expected to be actively engaged in the learning process, in class and in community based non profit social service agencies. Class participation is essential. Students will be evaluated on their ability to relate course readings to class discussions and in their volunteer work. Class discussions and written materials should demonstrate analytic thinking and use of university and community resources.

Grades will be based on the following:

Weekly reflection log 20%
Major Paper 20%
Class participation 10%
Class presentation 20%
Attendance 10%
Volunteer work -100 hours 20%

A minimum one hundred hours of community service (volunteer work) in a nonprofit ormanization is expected during the quarter. After the first two weeks, class meets only once a week. (Two days of class time and other needed times must be utilized for comm service activities and to meet with the instructor for individual supervision).


Brody, R. and Nair, M. (1997) Community Service: The Art of Volunteering and Service-Learning. Wheaton, Illinois: Gregory Publishers.


Volunteering: A Quest for the Human Spirit
Discussion of a case scenario

history, governance, structure and processes, funding, personal practices, organizational culture, missions, goals and objectives, community relationships
Discussion of a case scenario

dress code, gifts and gratuities, attendance/tardiness, being highly personal with clients, dating clients or co-workers, confidentiality, misconduct, qualities students bring to the assignment, handling hostility.
Discussion of a case scenario

what you can expect, the orientation process, matching the volunteer to the job, identifying an appropriate volunteer placement, preparing for the first interview, making a good first impression

what to expect, dealing with negative experiences, being sensitive to people different from yourself

attitude of investing in volunteers safety, precautions proper procedures, sexual harassment, nondiscriminatory practices, how agencies approach community service

types of supervision, being a productive subordinate, dealing with ethical dilemmas, being evaluated by the supervisor

community service learning contract, establishing learning objectives, assessing the agency and the supervisor, student evaluation of voluntary placement, evaluation of your supervisor

using a journal to explore ideas, examining critical elements, community service journal, What is an interview? understanding yourself and your feelings, understanding the behavior of the person you are interviewing, conducting an interview, techniques to help you in interviewing, guiding an interview through questions, helping clients to help themselves, how to deal with the client who doesn’t want to talk, confidentiality, importance of listening,

juggling several roles simultaneously, setting priorities, additional steps to use time productively, dealing with stress, community service time sheet

asking questions to facilitate discussions, running effective meetings, avoiding excessive conformity, participating in team activities, generating creative ideas

Community Service Weekly Log Expectation:
The log should represent your summary of your service activity. It should contain “fact” and your own review and critique of your performance. Be sure to maintain confidentiality: disguise names; what is most pertinent are the facts of the situation in which you are expected to be helpful: what you thought, did and evaluated.

Due every Monday

Name Date
Agency Period covering
Address Hours this period
Telephone Cumulative Hours
Plans for the week:
Special positive experiences:
Special negative experiences:
Most significant accomplishments:
Questions and answers:

Special insights….
a. Yourself:
b. Clients:
c. Agency:
d. Community:

Major Paper outline
This paper is due one week prior to the end of the quarter. Type double spaced with a cover .You need to incorporate the required readings and your community service experiences in this paper.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM UNDER OBSERVATION a. Describe the nature of the problem/issues under your observation b. What has already been done about this issue in the community? c. What are the diversity issues involved? d. What are the ethical issues involved?

a. Description of your agency – client profile, organizational chart,
program activities
b. Mission, goal statements of this agency
c. Background history
d. Environmental factors influencing this agency
e. The organization’s culture
f. Fiscal management
g. Agency morale

a. Describe different types of activities you were involved at the agency
b. Explain the impact your involvement had on the clients and staff at this agency

a. Discuss the rationale for selecting this agency/clients for your practice
b. Your perceptions at the beginning of this experience
c. Your perceptions at the end of this experience
d. What are the ways you could mobilize community support to deal with this issue?
e. If you are planning this type of another experience, what else would you do differently?

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School: Cleveland State University
Professor: Dr. Murali D. Nair
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