What is Community-based Education?

Community-based education consists of service learning or academic internships. Service learning and student internships are an excellent way for students to apply knowledge from their disciplines to benefit local communities, explore possible career paths, gain professional skills, build personal and social skillsets, network, and gain experiences to add to your resume. 

If you are a student currently enrolled in a service learning class, your instructor will ask you to fill out the necessary forms you need to participate in the service learning portion of the course.

The forms you will need to complete are:

  • Service Learning Student Learning Plan
  • Participation Guidelines
  • University Liability Waiver

These forms are to be filled out online at the StanServes S4 website. You cannot start your service learning activity until these forms are completed and signed. If you are under 18 years old, you will need to complete the Liability Waiver online and print a copy to obtain your parent's or guardian's signature. The wavier must be turned into your instructor and forwarded to the Office of Service Learning when completed. Your instructor may ask you to track your service hours with the Student Service Time Tracking Sheet or the Timelog feature on StanServes S4.

If you would like to see the listing of current service learning classes, please see the Class Schedule for semester listings. You are always welcome to call the Office of Service Learning at 209-667-3311 for more information. 

All academic internships must be approved by the appropriate faculty in your academic department. If you are doing an unpaid internship, your instructor will need to ensure that the University has a fully signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place with your company or agency. Paid internships do not require an MOU. For all academic internships, you will need to complete the University documents listed below prior to beginning your hours. These forms are to be filled out online at StanServes S4. Additionally, the instructor may ask you to keep a written record of your work and participate in academic assignments and activities involving your internship experience. Please contact your department’s internship faculty instructor for directions.

The following criteria must be met before you begin your internship:

  1. The internship site must be approved by your instructor. 
  2. The unpaid academic internship site has completed a Memorandum of Understanding.
  3. You have completed the Internship Student Learning Plan
  4. You have reviewed and signed the  Internship Participation Guidelines.
  5. You have reviewed and signed the University Liability Waiver.
  6. Your instructor may ask you to track your internship hours with a Student Service Time Tracking Sheet or the Timelog feature on StanServes S4.

Certain internship courses may also require additional paperwork that you need to complete for your internship course in addition to the documents listed above. Please see your internship faculty instructor for details. 

Students who will be "Research Assistants" in PSYC 4940: Field Work in Psychology must also complete the following: Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program ethics training.

If you are not enrolled in a service learning course or an academic internship, you can still gain valuable professional experiences and life skills by volunteering or interning on your own in our community.  If you would like information on potential volunteer experiences in the local community without receiving course credit, please contact the Office of Service Learning at 209-667-3311 or email Julie Fox at jfox@csustan.edu for a list of local non-profits in the area. For information about non-academic internships please visit the Career & Professional Development Center.

Updated: April 06, 2023