If you're looking to create a service-learning program, Learn and Serve America's National Service-Learning Clearinghouse Faculty Toolkit for Service-Learning in Higher Education contains a list of tips for getting started. It includes information on how to:
- Establish learner outcome and competencies
- Determine the appropriate structure and requirements
- Identify assessment strategies
- Incorporate meaningful reflection activities
Additionally, the second edition of the Principles of Community Engagement, by the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium Community Engagement Key Function Committee Task Force on the Principles of Community Engagement, offers the following principles of community engagement:
- Be clear about the purposes or goals of the engagement effort and the populations and/or communities you want to engage.
- Become knowledgeable about the community’s culture, economic conditions, social networks, political and power structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with efforts by outside groups to engage it in various programs. Learn about the community’s perceptions of those initiating the engagement activities.
- Go to the community, establish relationships, build trust, work with the formal and informal leadership, and seek commitment from community organizations and leaders to create processes for mobilizing the community.
- Remember and accept that collective self-determination is the responsibility and right of all people in a community. No external entity should assume it can bestow on a community the power to act in its own self- interest.