Graduation Requirements

Community Engaged Learning (CEL, formerly service learning)

Note: The Service Learning (SL) graduation requirement and designation will be changing in Fall 2019 to Community Engaged Learning (CEL). Faculty developing proposals for CEL-designated courses should now build the course and syllabus around the new CEL learning outcomes and dimensions, posted below. The College Curriculum Committee is still reviewing courses. Please contact your school's Curriculum Committee chair for further details and resources for developing CEL courses. 

CEL Outcomes

Consistent with USF's mission and vision, and the essential dimensions of community-engaged learning, the following learning outcomes should be integrated into the course:

  • Analyze the dynamics, strengths, and priorities of a group, community, or environment with which students engage.
  • Examine an environmental or social justice issue, including its root causes, impacts, intersections with other issues, and possible solutions.
  • Analyze one’s own and others’ beliefs, values, social identities, and world views and their implications for how one defines and contributes to the common good.

CEL courses should also address the following key dimensions:

  • Purpose: 
    • Develop students' knowledge and concern about communities and environments most affected by injustice, and prepare them to lead lives committed to equity and social justice.  
    • Contribute to the common good by building the capacity of individuals and organizations to address community-identified priorities and desires.  
  • Relationships:
    • Foster reciprocal and authentic relationships that honor community partners as co-educators.  
    • Reflect shared leadership and solidarity with community over mere transactional relationships.
    • Integrate sustained community relationships, ongoing communication, shared expectations, and plans for addressing interpersonal and institutional challenges. 
  • Process: 
    • Draw upon student and community voices to shape the course's learning and engagement activities.
    • Integrate guided critical reflection before, during and after engagement to help students make meaning of intersections between academic knowledge, civic engagement, and understanding of diversity, positionality, and power.
    • Include formative and summative assessment of student learning and community outcomes to improve current and future community engagement. 
  • Forms:
    • Frame the course in terms of known pedagogical models including service-learning, participatory and community based research, internship, field experience, or immersion.
    • Demonstrate a public purpose, a vision of social justice and equity, shared interests of community members, and transformational learning experiences for students.
    • Reflect a commitment to equitable community engagement in both course content and pedagogy.
    • Prioritize the quality of the community experience over quantity of hours, but aim for a minimum of 20 hours of engagement. 
  • Community Engaged Learning (CEL) outcomes