Criteria for Service Learning Site
A service learning site must maintain most or all these desirable characteristics:
- The agency is stable and well-organized.
- The agency should provide an on-going service in at least one of the following areas: health, education, welfare, social action, or environment.
- The service of the agency will continue to be provided without the help of the San José City College student.
- The agency serves underserved people, or addresses timely community issues of the San Jose community.
- What San Jose City College students do and experience at the placement site enhances their academic endeavors.
How does an agency become part of the Service Learning Program?
Contact between an agency and San Jose City College may be initiated by either party. An agency may hear of the program and contact San Jose City College, or San Jose City College may pursue contact with an agency that could provide a positive learning experience for the students.
How does the agency help the student?
The agency staff should have a clear understanding of what student responsibilities will be and be willing to help the students meet those responsibilities. Students will engage in activities which provide direct service to the people whom the agency serves.
Agency staff give the support necessary for the students to work at least 80% with clients. The remaining time may be spent supporting the work of the agency, so long as the students are not expected to run programs or engage in planning and developing programs for the agency.
An agency agrees to provide an orientation or training for SJCC students.
The orientations are run by agency staff and generally have these goals:
- Familiarize the student volunteers with the agency and staff
- Inform students of their responsibilities while at the site, listen to students' needs and goals,
- Provide information and suggestions to help students benefit from their experience.
- Offer tips for getting started, and about avoiding pitfalls.
- Define the scope of the authority of the students.
- Explain the benefit of their presence to clients and the benefit of clients to students.
If possible, supplemental materials, such as a volunteer handbook, should be furnished. A participating agency will be asked to fill out an evaluation form for the San Jose City College Service Learning Program.