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Service Learning Designation

Designated service learning courses at MSU Denver meet certain criteria as delineated in the Undergraduate Studies Curriculum Manual. The outworking of these criteria will vary from course to course, depending on the objectives for each course. The service learning learning objectives for a course can be adopted from the curriculum manual or adapted to meet professional criteria in addition to the MSU Denver criteria.

Service Learning Defined

At MSU Denver, service learning is defined as a form of experiential learning in which students combine classroom experience with community-based service that:

  • Meets an identified community need,
  • Provides a structured opportunity for students to reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content,
  • Balances student goals and community goals through collaborative development of course content and service opportunity, and
  • Engages students in structured preparation for, participation in, and reflection on the service experience.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Upon completion of a service learning course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in personal and critical reflection concerning the service experience (SL)
  • Relate the service experience to core concepts and learning outcomes of the course as described in the Regular Course Syllabus (SL)
  • Assess and analyze the service learning experience in the context of fulfilling the identified community need, community engagement, or promoting the public good (SL)
  • Interpret and communicate the learning experience to a wider forum and disseminate information to audiences beyond the classroom (SL)

Service Learning Designation Process

MSU Denver has an "SL" designation for courses that utilize a service learning pedagogy.  All sections of a course or a single section of a course may be designated.  The service learning designated courses now appear in the Class Schedule and are marked on a student's transcript.

Service learning course designation requests must be approved through the University's substantive curriculum change review process.  How to apply:

  • Determine if your course/course section qualifies for the designation. (We would be happy to chat with you about this.)
  • Submit your proposal on Curriculog.  (Log in to Curriculog using your MSU Denver credentials. The form you choose on Curriculog will depend on whether it is a new or existing course, and whether you are asking for any other designations in addition to SL.  If you're not sure, check with us or the Curriculum manager.)

SL Course Designation Workshop 

This slide deck includes sample syllabi from previously designated courses. Dr. Graham Ignizio, former Faculty Associate for Service Learning and Dr. Lori McKinney, Service Learning Specialist are available to meet with individual faculty members and departments to discuss not only the service learning course designation, but also service learning pedagogy and course design.  Please schedule a consultation today!



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