Service learning is an integral part of the certificate and degree programs at Booth University College. Below are frequently asked questions about Booth’s service learning programs.
WHAT IS SERVICE LEARNING?
Service Learning is much more than volunteering in the community. This is the field placement component of the Urban Service Learning course (USL 151) that integrates the core values of Booth University College (hope, justice and mercy) with the lived experience of urban service. Reflection forms the key link between thinking and doing, learning and service. Service learning is not volunteering, playing the piano at church, working with the youth group or tutoring another Booth University College student. Service learning is focused on a social need in a marginalized sector of Winnipeg (e.g., homelessness, illiteracy), it occurs outside of the Booth University College community, it involves building relationships over time at a single site, and it stretches the student through challenges in a new setting.
WHEN DOES SERVICE LEARNING BEGIN AND ARE THERE ANY DAYS OFF?
The Urban Service Learning course is usually scheduled for the winter semester and includes 30 hours of service in addition to scheduled class time. In preparation, there is an orientation gathering in October or November to provide students with an overview of the Urban Service Learning course requirements so that they are ready to begin in January. Placements usually begin the second week of class and all 30 hours must be completed by the last day of class. No service learning practicum hours are scheduled on statutory holidays (e.g., Louis Riel Day).
HOW ARE THE HOURS DOCUMENTED AND WHO KEEPS TRACK OF THE SERVICE LEARNING HOURS?
Service learning hours must be documented in writing. Students are responsible for documenting their hours by signing an Hours Verification Form each time they work at their practicum site. The site supervisor will initial the hours worked and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the student’s service. At the completion of their service, the student is responsible for returning the form to the professor, and this must be done by the last day of class. Travel time does not count as service learning time. Some sites have their own volunteer sign in process which does not substitute for the Verification forms.
HOW WILL I GET TO MY SERVICE LEARNING SITE?
Students are responsible for arranging transportation to and from their Urban Service Learning placement, and are responsible for all travel costs incurred.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I CAN’T GO TO WORK (SICKNESS, HOME EMERGENCY, ETC)?
Your service learning site will expect you every week. Service learning is a regular part of your schedule. Please be responsible as with a job and call your site supervisor ahead of time when you can’t make it. If you do not notify your site when you are not coming, it will affect your service learning grade.
HOW DO I FIND OUT WHEN THERE IS A LAST MINUTE CHANGE OR CANCELLATION?
Any changes in schedule will be communicated to you by email. Check your e-mail on the days you have service learning.
CAN I GO TO MORE THAN ONE SITE OR FIND MY OWN SITE? WHAT IF MY SCHEDULE HAS CHANGED?
Students ideally serve at one service learning site since consistency is crucial for the service learning experience and building relationships. The sites offered have been carefully screened to fit course content, and there is a variety so everyone should be able to find something to their liking. Any change to a different service learning site requires your professor’s permission. Commuters with potential service sites near home can speak to their professor for individual approval.