California State University, Fresno

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Steven Hart Office: Kremen School of Education Room 247
Email: Phone: 559-278-0319
Course Website: 

Course Description
Prepares students to design and implement service-learning in K-12 schools and community settings. Examines theoretical roots, methods of effective teaching practice, and academic, social, emotional outcomes for student learning. Practical experience involves implementing project with local school districts.

Service-Learning and Course Goals
Service-learning allows students to learn about and experience democracy in action by becoming engaged, contributing citizens and community leaders. By blending community service activities with the academic curriculum, service-learning transforms education into a process of learning in which students both gain and apply knowledge to address real world problems. Service-learning will be an integral part of the course materials and assignments.

The goal of this course is to prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to work with schools, non-profits, and public agencies as community educators and social-change agents capable of developing and implementing partnership programs between schools and communities. The objectives of this course are to provide students a strong foundation in the design and delivery of service-learning instruction, a deep understanding of community and social change processes, and experiences assisting K-12 educators in planning, implementing, and evaluating service-learning projects with their students.

Required Materials:
Dary, T. (2010). High quality instruction that transforms: A guide to implementing quality academic service-learning. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  FREE DOWNLOAD at this link

Kaye, C. (2010). The complete guide to service-learning: Proven, practical ways to engage students in civic responsibility, academic curriculum, and social action. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.
National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). (2010). Getting started in service-learning: An elementary through high school handbook. Saint Paul, MN: Author.
RMC Research Corporation. (2009). K-12 service-learning project planning toolkit. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. FREE DOWNLOAD at this link

Other readings as assigned by instructor:
Billig, S. (2011). Making the most of your time: Implementing the K-12 service-learning standards for quality practice. The Prevention Researcher, 18(1), 8-13.

Billig, S. H. (2000). Research on K-12 school-based service-learning: The evidence builds. Phi Delta Kappan, 81(9), 658-664.

Boston, B. O. (2005). Restoring the balance between academics and civic engagement in public schools. Washington, DC.

Boyte, H. C., & Skelton, N. (1997). The legacy of public work: Educating for citizenship.

Educational Leadership, 54(5), 12-17.

Bridgeland, J. M., Dilulio, J. J., & Wulsin, S. C. (2008). Engaged for success: Service-learning as a tool for high school dropout prevention. Washington, DC: Civic Enterprises.

California Department of Education. (2006). The nexus among civic responsibility, the California Content Standards, and service-learning. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.

California Department of Education. (2003). Education for democracy: California civic education scope and sequence. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Unified School District.

Furco, A. (2002). Sustaining and institutionalizing service-learning. In S. Ammon, A. Furco, B.

Chi & E. Middaugh (Eds.), Service-learning in California: A profile of the CalServe service- learning partnerships (1997-2000). Berkeley, CA: Service-Learning Research & Development Center, University of California, Berkeley.

Hart, S. (2006). Breaking literacy boundaries through critical servicelearning: education for the silenced and marginalized. Mentoring and Tutoring, 14(1), 17-32. doi: 10.1080/13611260500432236

Krebs, M. (2009). Service-learning: What motivates K-12 teachers to participate in and sustain service-learning projects? Information for Action: A Journal for Service-Learning Research with Children and Youth, 2(2). Retrieved from

Lennon, T. (2009). Service-learning and Hispanic students: What works in the field. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States.

Melaville, A., Berg, A., & Blank, M. (2006). Community-based learning: Engaging students for success and citizenship. Washington, DC: Institute for Educational Leadership.

Moss, L. J., & Sandiford, J. (2010). Assessing the value of service-learning in K-12 education: Might qualitative and mixed-methods research methods yield more support for the affective value of service-learning? Information for Action: A Journal for Service-Learning Research with Children and Youth, 3(2). Retrieved from

Reed, M., Williams, T., Barnes, C., & Brooks, K. (2009). A first time journey into service learning: Urban teachers’ descriptions and reflections on the practice, process and product. Information for Action: A Journal for Service-Learning Research with Children and Youth, 2(1). Retrieved from

RMC. (2001). Educators’ guide to service-learning program evaluation. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse.

Wade, R. (2011). Service for learning. Educational Leadership, 68(8), 28-31.

Student Learning Outcomes
At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:
1. Articulate the theoretical roots of service learning pedagogy;
2. Utilize effective principles of service-learning to design projects;
3. Design and implement service-learning projects that integrate K-12 school curriculum standards;
4. Use formal and informal assessment tools to evaluate service-learning projects for their effectiveness in supporting children’s intellectual, emotional, and civic development and meeting community needs;
5. Critically reflect upon and analyze the process and outcomes of service-learning experiences;
6. Articulate and critical analyze how service-learning experiences support diverse learners, including English Learners, Students with Special Needs, and Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
7. Identify sources of information pertaining to community agencies that can assist teachers in integrating service experiences and academic standards; and
8. Demonstrate the ability to create collaborative partnerships between K-12 schools and community organizations to support children’s learning and well-being.

Course Requirements
E-mail: Course updates and information will be sent to you by e-mail. You are responsible for ensuring that your current e-mail address is on file with the University, and for keeping your e-mail inbox open for incoming messages. See the e-mail policy section below for further details.

Software: You will need to have access to an Internet browser (Safari, Firefox, Camino) and to a word processing program that can produce files in .doc format (Microsoft Word, Rich Text, Open Office). To view and print course materials, you will need a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Apple Preview.

Computers: In this class, you will need to read online articles, view Web sites, and prepare written documents. Completion of this aspect of the course assumes that students comply with the

University’s policy that every student must have his/her own computer or have other personal access to a workstation (including a modem and a printer) with all the recommended software. Students are presumed to have 24-hour access to a computer workstation and the necessary communication links to the University’s information resources. The minimum and recommended standards for the workstations and software are available from Information Technology Services or the Kennel Bookstore.

Assignments and Grading

Assignment                                                                                 Points       Percentage of Grade

Service-Learning Project Report/Presentation              200            50%

Reflective Journal                                                                     100             25%

Discussion Board Posts                                                              50         12.5%

Attendance/Participation/Service                                           50         12.5%

Total                                                                                                  400         100%

Grades, including a running total, will be posted on Blackboard so you can monitor your progress. Final grades will be determined according to the following scale: 90% (360 points) or better = A, 80-89% (320-359 points) = B, 70-79% (280-319 points) = C, 60-69% (240-279 points) = D, 59% (239 points) or below = F.

(See the rubrics in the syllabus for further clarification on grading)

Service-Learning Field Experience

All course materials, assignments, and activities are designed to enhance your understanding of service-learning principles and practices. The service-learning field experience is designed to deepen your theoretical knowledge and provide you with opportunities to actively explore the various models and methods for integrating service activities into the K-12 curriculum. Each student will be involved in a group project in which you assist K-12 educators from local school districts in developing and implementing service-learning projects. District personnel and classroom teachers will introduce potential project ideas during the first class; examples might include gardens for the hungry with elementary students, anti-bullying programs with middle school students, or water conservation advocacy with high school students. The field experience will require 20-30 hours working with the classroom teacher on the service-learning project.

Attendance/Participation/Service (50 points)

This is an upper division service-learning seminar course, and your grade will depend upon your attendance and participation in class and in the service-learning field experience. It is expected that you be in class, on time and present for the entire period (4 tardies/early exits count as one absence), prepared (that means you’ve completed assignments before class), and ready to contribute to class discussions. The field experience times will be arranged between you and the K-12 teacher. It is expected that you respect the agreement and are timely and consistent. All field experience hours must be recorded, confirmed by the K-12 teacher (see form below), and submitted by the last class of the semester. Please note that 5 points will be deducted for every absence after your first one. Non-attendance of the Final counts as two absences. I appreciate being informed of all students’ absences, so I can best assist you in continuing to succeed in this course. If a situation arises that may affect your attendance, let me know as soon as possible so we can discuss it. Students who will be absent for official University activities need to provide documentation prior to their absences. Whatever your reason for missing class, it is your responsibility to check on announcements and assignments missed.

Reflective Journal Entries (100 points)

A major course requirement is to complete journal entries on Blackboard to describe and reflect on your field experiences planning, designing, and implementing the service-learning project. The journal is a private discussion between you and the instructor. NO PEERS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR JOURNAL. The professor will comment on each entry and give a score out of 10 points based on the integration of course materials in your reflections and the depth in examining your experiences. (See Journal rubric)

Discussion Board Posts (50 points)

Online threaded discussions on Blackboard will be used to collaboratively reflect upon and make connections between course materials and field experiences. Throughout the semester, Five (5) discussions will be assigned, and students are expected to make at least 3 posts about discussion questions posed; at least 2 must respond to classmate postings. The professor will comment on the quality of student posts and give a score out of 10 points for each forum (see Discussion rubric).

Service-Learning Project Report and Presentation (200 points)

Students will write a 5-10 page report on the service-learning project and develop a presentation to capture the main points of the report. The report will include three sections. Section one will describe the phases of the project, the curricular emphasis, and the curriculum standards that were addressed through the project. Section two will describe the impacts of service-learning on K-12 student academic, social/emotional, and civic outcomes through the use of assessments, observations, and other instruments. The report will conclude with a reflection on the impact of the project on personal pedagogy and instructional practice (see Report/Presentation rubrics).

Course Expectations and Policies

Work Submission Policy: All documents submitted via Blackboard must be saved as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt, or .rtf files for the work to be accepted. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the submission of any document via Blackboard by clicking on the “!” symbol or “View/Complete Assignment” link in the grade book to ensure that the correct document was submitted. Late assignments may not be accepted. I encourage students to contact me if you have concerns about the course or particular assignments. Please do not hesitate to inform me of extreme emergencies.

Study Expectations: It is usually expected that students will spend approximately two hours of study time outside of class for every hour in class. Since this is a three-unit class, you should expect to study an average of six hours outside of class each week. Some students may need more outside study time and some less.

For free tutoring on campus, contact the Learning Center in the Peters Building Annex (phone 278-3052).

Classroom Etiquette: “Catching Z’s,” “popping gum,” and cell phone usage (including “texting”) during class are inappropriate behaviors and will not be tolerated. Private chatting while discussion is taking place is very disrespectful to the person who is talking as well as to those who are trying to listen. Please refrain from “private whispering.” If these behaviors occur more than once, you may be asked to leave. This will count as an absence. Feel free to speak your mind or relate your position to the class WHEN you are given the floor. (From the Academic Policy Manual): “The classroom is a special environment in which students and faculty come together to promote learning and growth. It is essential to this learning environment that respect for the rights of others seeking to learn, respect for the professionalism of the instructor, and the general goals of academic freedom are maintained. … Differences of viewpoint or concerns should be expressed in terms which are supportive of the learning process, creating an environment in which students and faculty may learn to reason with clarity and compassion, to share of themselves without losing their identities, and to develop an understanding of the community in which they live. … Student conduct which disrupts the learning process shall not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action and/or removal from class.”

University Policies

For information on the University’s policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to the Class Schedule (Legal Notices on Cheating and Plagiarism) or the University Catalog (Policies and Regulations) at the following link:

Students with Disabilities: Upon identifying themselves to the instructor and the university, students with disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation for learning and evaluation. 

Honor Code: “Members of the CSU Fresno academic community adhere to principles of academic integrity and mutual respect while engaged in university work and related activities.”

You should:

a) understand or seek clarification about expectations for academic integrity in this course (including no cheating, plagiarism and inappropriate collaboration)
b) neither give nor receive unauthorized aid on examinations or other course work that is used by the instructor as the basis of grading.
c) take responsibility to monitor academic dishonesty in any form and to report it to the instructor or other appropriate official for action.



Tentative Course Schedule

1. Introduction to Service-Learning
Guest Speakers: District Personnel &Classroom Teachers
Wade (2011); Billig (2011)

2. Theoretical Roots of SL: Experiential, Situated & Sociocultural Learning Theories
Kaye (2010); Hart (2006)
Discussion # 1; Journal Reflection

3. Elements of SL Best Practices: Reflection, Reciprocity, & Rigor
Dary (2010); Kaye (2010); RMC (2009)
Project Proposal Draft

4. Design of SL Projects: Reciprocity, Community Partnerships, Outcomes
Dary (2010); Kaye (2010); RMC (2009)
Project Proposal; Journal Reflection

5. Design of SL Projects: Rigor, Curricular Standards, Academic Outcomes
Dary (2010); Kaye (2010); RMC (2009)
Discussion # 2; Journal Reflection

6. Design of SL Projects: Reflection, Assessment Measures, Affective Outcomes
Moss (2010); Reed (2009); RMC (2001)
Discussion # 3; Journal Reflection

7. Service-Learning Leadership
Furco (2002)
Journal Reflection

8. SL & Academic Achievement
Billig (2000)
Journal Reflection

9. SL & Social/Emotional Development
Boston (2005)
Journal Reflection

10. SL & Civic Engagement
Boyte (1997); Center Civic Education(2003)
Journal Reflection

11. SL & School Engagement: Youth Voice & Choice, Resilience
Bridgeland (2008)
Discussion # 4; Journal Reflection

12. SL & Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Student Populations (EL, SpED, Low SES)
Lennon (2009)
Discussion # 5; Journal Reflection

13. Writing About SL: Descriptive Analysis; Data Analysis
RMC (2009)

14. Writing About SL: Reflective Analysis

15. Presentations

Final Exam Preparation & Faculty
Consultation Days:Thursday and Friday TBD
Final Semester Examinations Monday-Thursday TBD
Final Exam in this course TBD


The schedule and procedures for this course are subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and/or on the course Web sites and/or by e-mail from the instructor. It is your responsibility for finding out about schedule updates.