Student Support

Community Partner Expectations


Applied and service learning students have defined learning objectives that should be met during their experience. In order to achieve results that create positive, long-lasting and productive experiences possible, community partners must commit to the following expectations.

Adequate Training: Each community partner is responsible for providing some form of orientation and/or other additional training/materials that are needed for students to carry out the duties and responsibilities being requested of them. An orientation should cover the following topics:

  • Purpose and mission of the organization

  • Population and demographics served and the community needs

  • Services and/or programs offered

  • Tour of the organization, including any work areas and brief introductions with staff

  • Student and organization expectations, including any policies/procedures that students need to be aware of while providing service

  • Risk, safety, and emergency evacuation guidelines

  • Sign-in/sign-out procedures

  • Overview of student tasks and responsibilities

Supervision: Organizations must designate one paid employee to serve as the supervisor for our students and the ‘point person’ for communication with the Career Services Center and/or the SMC instructor. The supervisor should be able to provide support and feedback to students on how they are doing and what they can do to improve their experience. The supervisor will also need to verify student hours and complete documents required of the Applied and Service-Learning Program. Furthermore, we ask supervisors to help students think critically about their involvement, specifically about what their applied and service learning experience means to them and overall civic impacts. The applied and service-learning student/community partner supervisor relationship is one of the most important aspects of the student experience and can help lead to a productive experience possible.

High Quality Applied and Service Learning Projects: Our students need to be working on projects and assignments that relate to their learning objectives and goals. Work assigned to our students should go beyond administrative/clerical duties such as providing phone coverage, filing, and copying. If being assigned these types of tasks, these tasks should only be assigned in moderation for the purpose of familiarizing the student with the organization. Furthermore, students are not to conduct work that promotes any religious practice (i.e. religious education, worship, or evangelizing); assists, promotes, or deters union organizing; impairs existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements; and/or work with political organizations or elected officials on partisan efforts. Furthermore, at no time are our students to be left alone with minors.

Communication: In any type of partnership, an open line of communication is important. Therefore, the Career Services Center recommends that communication between all parties occur before, during and after each semester. As such, community partners should expect and receive periodic site visits, phone calls, and/or emails from the SMC Applied and Service Learning Coordinator and/or instructor. This is to ensure a positive, long-lasting and productive applied learning experience possible. Community partners must also agree to inform the SMC instructor and/or the Applied and Service Learning Coordinator immediately if any problems and/or concerns arise from the work of an assigned student and/or project. This is to determine any possible alternatives for a student prior to major issues arising and to ensure that all parties are satisfied.

Sign-in/Sign-Out Procedures: Organizations must have a system of scheduling and documenting hours. This system must include days and hours worked for each student and be accessible to the Applied and Service Learning staff for program documentation purposes.

Risk and Liability: Community partners should not provide opportunities that pose a significant risk to students. As such, community partner should arrange for an appropriate work space in which students are able to conduct their assigned work. Supervisors should also review any policies and procedures including any risk, safety, and emergency evacuation guidelines that our students need to be aware of while providing service at their organization.