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SL/CBR Course Designation Application

Why should you apply for the SL/CBR Course Designation?

If you plan to develop or already have an existing course that will be taught as a service-­learning or community‐based research course, please consider applying for the SL or CBR Course Designation. This will ensure that your course will be listed in the Course Schedule as having an SL or CBR designation. There are several advantages to this process:

  • It ensures that your classes are more visible to students who are interested in service and search for SL or CBR in the course schedule.
  • It allows the CELR to promote these classes along with the other Service‐Learning courses on our web site and through other channels
  • A course designation further widens your potential to reach out to students who are interested in service, but do not have a class in their discipline that offers it.
  • Course designations are a good way to attract new students to your department.

As you begin to think about community service as a part of your course and as you talk with community partners, incorporate these components for development of a strong and effective course.

Create a statement of goals, expectations, and responsibilities for: (1) Faculty, (2) Students, and (3) Community Partners.This set of statements is a product of an ongoing conversation and development of understanding of and appreciation for differences in cultures and practice.
Set clear service and learning goals for students.What are the service activities students will perform? How do these service activities connect with the academic content of the course? How do they meet community partners’ priorities? With your community partner, develop a plan for service activity with strong connection to academic concepts taught in the course.
Establish how you will prepare students for service.Include a clear and accurate description of the activity, goals, objectives and evaluation; time and effort expectations, cultural sensitivity; training for the tasks involved in the service; safety awareness; and introduction to the work of the community partner.
Formulate assignments and activities that allow students to see the clear connection between course content and service.Develop high quality and high impact reflective activities and assignments to assist students in making the connection between course content and service and in applying academic content to service activity.
Establish a plan for evaluating your course and whether or not it achieved its goals.What types of feedback will you require from students and community partners to help you evaluate and improve your course?
Plan for sustainability.Consider the faculty/community partnership with your department and with your community partner (continuing partnership, type(s) of activity, once a year or every quarter, commitment from partner organization and from department).

CBR (Community-­Based Research)*

Essential Qualities

  • Courses are designed in collaboration with one or more community organizations
  • Courses identify and deliver products that will be of use to the community organizations
  • Courses employ or introduce students to one or more relevant research methods

Desirable Qualities

  • Courses are part of an ongoing collaboration with one or more community organizations
  • Community partners serve as sources of knowledge and expertise
  • Involvement of course increases capacity of the partner organization
  • Community partners are involve din every stage of decision-­‐making
  • Courses are organized in a developmental sequence
  • Services other than research are provided to the community partners

SL (Service-­Learning)‡

Essential Qualities

  • Courses are designed in collaboration with one or more community organizations
  • Courses provide service that will be of use to the community organizations
  • Promoting learning through active participation in service experiences;
  • Providing structured time for students to reflect by thinking, discussing and writing about their service experiences
  • Providing an opportunity for students to use skills and knowledge in real-­‐ life situations
  • Extending learning beyond the classroom into the community; and
  • Fostering a sense of caring for others

Desirable Qualities

  • Part of an ongoing collaboration with one or more community organizations
  • Courses are organized in a developmental sequence
  • Involvement of course increases capacity of the partner organization
  • Service to the community partners builds upon research
  • Community partners serve as sources of knowledge and expertise

If you have any questions or would like additional guidance in developing your service-­‐learning or community-­‐based research course, please contact the CELR and we will make arrangements for a program specialist to meet with you. To request a meeting, please contact Monica M. Kowal, Associate Dean, Community Engaged Learning & Research, at celr@unm.edu, or call (505) 277-­3355.


*Characteristics derived from principles of University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine.
‡Characteristics derived from Learn and Serve America.