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Student Resources

In order to get started on your service learning project, you’ll need to reference our policies, guidelines and applications.

Policies and Guidelines

  • Review our community partners. Choose a site that meets the parameters established by your guiding faculty supervisor.
  • Note and follow deadlines for contacting partners. Some partners require that you contact the Service Learning Program to arrange service, others you contact directly yourself. In either case, the sooner you begin to arrange your service, the more likely your 1st choice for placement will be met. If you are late in signing up for a site, we may not be able to accommodate your choice. 
  • Students should practice caution in any setting, following all protocols, and the use of protective personal equipment as required. Students must wear a mask while on-site. Any student hesitant to complete service onsite should contact Dr. Mary Walsh regarding possible modifications and alternate options for online/remote service.
  • If you decide to participate in a service learning experience that is not listed on the webpage, discuss the activity with your instructor and then contact Dr. Walsh to discuss the project.
  • As a general rule, service learners should be cautious and discreet with all physical contact, especially with children.
    • Appropriate touches:
      • High five, fist bump, handshake
      • Side Hugs
      • Holding a child’s hand while listening or speaking to him/her or when walking to an activity
      • Putting an arm around the shoulder of a child who needs comforting or quieting
    • Inappropriate touches:
      • Kissing a child or coaxing a child to kiss
      • Extended hugging including body-to-body and tickling
      • Picking up or carrying a child (this includes piggyback rides and airplanes)
      • Touching a child in any area that would be covered by a bathing suit
      • Having a child sit on a lap
      • Being alone with a child, unless a door is open
      • Grabbing a child in anger or frustration
  • Students should not share personal and/or sensitive identifying information with service organization clients. This includes, but is not limited to, your full name, email or social media identifiers, address, or other identifying information. It is okay to share your contact information with credible organizations, however. And, if using a personal phone to call clients, or for phone banking, be sure to disable the caller ID feature so that your number is not displayed to the recipient. One option to do so is to Dial *67, then enter the number you wish to call (including the area code).
  • If you choose a location or organization with which you are unfamiliar, consider serving with a partner. But, remember, while serving, you should engage with the people running and/or served by the organization, not your colleague partner.
  • If a criminal background check is required, email service.learning@elmhurst.edu to work out the details.
  • Be sure to write down your service dates, location, time of your commitment, and other relevant information. It is your professional responsibility to meet your commitments.
  • Dress appropriately for the activities in which you will be engaging at your site. If you are unsure about what is appropriate, contact the site.
  • Turn off your cell phone while serving.
  • Check with the staff at the site before taking any pictures. We strongly recommend that you do not take pictures of minors under any circumstance.
  • If an emergency arises and you must miss a date, or will be late in arriving, it is your responsibility to notify the agency and reschedule the time.
  • If you drop or withdraw from a site, email the SL staff at service.learning@elmhurst.edu. They will notify the site that you will not be attending.
  • As you near the completion of your service, please thank anyone at the site who has helped you. A verbal thank you is great, a written thank you even better. The staff at non‐profits often do not hear enough positive affirmation for the hard work and long hours they put into their work.
  • Consider sending us feedback about your experience. The Service Learning staff is always ready to hear about your experiences. Contact us so we can learn from you and develop this program.
  • Concerns? Call Dr. Walsh at (630) 617‐3085 or email walshm@elmhurst.edu or Michelle Reidy at service.learning@elmhurst.edu.

*Note: You must complete the waiver for participation prior to beginning your service learning project. Please submit this waiver to your guiding faculty supervisor before beginning service.

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