Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Expectations and Logistics

What is my organization’s role in service-learning?

Your organization develops specific, focused, and structured positions for students to pursue in tandem with their coursework at the university; positions that support your programming and help address your needs. Your position(s) are then matched with one or more courses offered at the University of Washington. These matches are developed collaboratively between the Carlson Center, your organization, and the instructors teaching the courses — based on the work your organization does and themes explored in the classes.

To ensure that both your organization and the student reap the full benefit of the service-learning assignment there are a few specific responsibilities that we ask community-based organizations to fulfill:

  • Provide a structured experience for students.
  • Offer a comprehensive orientation.
  • Be responsive to student questions and concerns.
  • Evaluate students’ work with the organization.
  • Give feedback to the Carlson Center about our efforts to coordinate and support service-learning.

The Service-Learning Partnership Memorandum of Agreement provides more detailed explanations of these activities, as well as an overview of the Carlson Center’s commitments to partner organizations.

What will students’ roles be at our organization?

Service-learning students begin their experience with an enthusiasm for learning and desire to broaden their understanding of social and personal issues. Students’ roles range from a marketing coordinator to a volunteer program administrative assistant to a direct service provider and can be designed to benefit your organization.  View examples of service-learning positions.

The Carlson Center encourages organizations and students to begin their relationship early so that the experience can be the best possible for both the organization and students.  We encourage students to be professional and responsible in establishing and maintaining this relationship.

Students will contact you early in each academic quarter to ask about the time, date, and location of the orientation at your organization.  After attending the orientation, students will coordinate their schedules with the organization and commit to a regular weekly commitment of ~3-5 hours per week, for the duration of the quarter (from the second week, through the last week of classes), depending on your organization’s needs.

How should we be thinking about special circumstances, such as background checks and safety of the minors our organization works with?

Read about these special circumstances, including ways the Carlson Center encourages organizations to anticipate related needs.