Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center


Service-learning is a learning experience that combines service with the community with structured preparation and reflection opportunities. Service opportunities are tied to academic coursework and address concerns that are identified and articulated by the community.

As students engage in service-learning, they learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as community members.

Before you register

Watch the following video to learn more about how to register for service-learning.

Now that you have reviewed the details of how to participate in service-learning at the UW, browse and register for a position.


Self-placements can be used to meet the service-learning requirement for your course IF you have a pre-existing volunteer relationship with a non-profit or government organization, AND the nature of your service work aligns with the learning goals of your course.

Special Circumstances: Safety of Minors & Background Checks

  • Download Acknowledgement of Risk Form – this form is for those that missed online registration and or those that are under 18.  The Carlson Center must receive a signed copy of this form before you begin volunteering at a service-learning site.

After You Register

There are a few ways to prepare for service-learning after you have registered for a position. Check out the following opportunities and feel free to contact us at with any questions.

Pre-service workshops

Oct 7 – 13 (W-Th-F-M-T): Participate in Pre-Service Workshops in MGH 171! This workshop offers you a basic overview of service-learning fundamentals including:

  • Building reciprocal relationships
  • Approaching community work from an asset-based perspective
  • Exhibiting professionalism in your work with community organizations
  • Navigating difficult situations that can come up in service

International student Information

Oct. 5 (M / 3:30-5:00pm): International Students can participate in a Service-Learning Workshop designed specifically for you! Located in MGH 171, this workshop’s topics covered include:

  • How to register online for service-learning
  • Factors to consider when choosing a service-learning position
  • Reaching out to and communicating with a service-learning supervisor
  • Getting to the service-learning site using public transportation

Community Site Orientations

Oct. 7 – 16 (W-Th-F-M-T-W-Th-F): Participate in orientations with your host organizations. Review details in your position description and/or contact your site supervisor to RSVP – or for more details. Orientations should, in most cases, be complete by Oct. 16 so you can begin your regular service soon after.