What is OrgSync?
OrgSync is the platform used on campus to manage service-learning projects and community engagement opportunities for students. It is used by Service-Learning as well as many of the student clubs and organizations to connect students to opportunities in the community.
The program encompasses:
- Centralized SL project/event management (registration/time submission)
- An outlet for event advertising and volunteer recruitment
- The ability to communicate with students, faculty, and SL staff
What if I Forget My Username and Password?
If you forget your OrgSync username or password you can access it by clicking the “Need help signing in?” located under the Community Partner login (found in the top right of the OrgSync log in screen).
Can I Edit My Project?
Yes, you can edit your project after it is posted.
If you are increasing the number of participants for your project we suggest only increasing 1-2 spots at a time without further guidance from the SL office.
Once a project is posted, please do not manually edit orientation information.
Contact SL staff at 208-426-5722 to ensure the necessary changes are completed accurately.
Why are students on the “Event (Project)” rather than “People”?
Your “People” list contains anyone who has joined your portal.
Joining is different from “registering” for an “Event” (project).
Ideally, students will do both.
They need to “register” for a project AND join the portal.
Some students may only complete one (join OR register). As a result, some students may think they registered for the project, but actually they only joined the portal; this could result in you getting too many students.
If you have students who think they registered and you already have reached your maximum capacity, please have your non-registered students contact the SL office at 426-1004.
Why am I receiving double notifications of time entries by students?
This occurs because the time sheet form contains an optional “reference” field which can be useful to partners who have multiple supervisors.
Students have been instructed not to fill out this field, because it triggers the additional notification. If you continue to receive double notifications, please remind your students to not fill out the reference field.
A student is on my roster from two different classes, will they serve double the hours?
It is up to the faculty of the courses to determine if they will allow the student to serve both projects at one agency. You should be consulted by the student in this situation because the agency must be able to offer an experience that relates to the learning objectives of both classes before approval.
If approved, the Service-Learning Program recommends a reduction of 25% of the combined hourly requirement.
What to do if a student started their service but never finished?
We recommend that you first voice the concern directly to the student, via email and/or over the phone. Beginning the conversation with the student allows him/her the opportunity to offer a legitimate reason, if there is one, as to why they did not complete their service.
If the initial attempt is unsuccessful, please send an email to the student and ‘cc’ the faculty of the course. We recommend giving the student a deadline to contact you about the situation and to let them know they will be removed from your roster if they do not respond in the allotted time. (Please contact SL staff at 208-426-1004 to remove a student from your project roster.)
If the instructor is aware of the situation and the student is still not responsive, rather than removing the student from the roster, we recommend completing the end of semester evaluation (if prompted) where you can indicate that the student did not fulfill their service obligation with your agency.
Above all else, please do not feel that you need to go above and beyond to track down student who is no longer serving your agency. Be sure to communicate with the faculty, complete the evaluation, and let us know how we can help. The work you do and your time is too important.
What if I have a student that missed orientation?
If you have a student who misses a scheduled orientation, we strongly recommend that you email the student and ‘cc’ the faculty for the course. The message of your email will depend on whether or not the student will still have the opportunity to serve with your agency.
- You can offer the student the chance to attend another pre-scheduled date. Students should have a deadline to respond and understand what happens if they miss again.
- You can schedule an individual orientation.
If you cannot meet individually and a student misses the scheduled orientation(s), please email the student and contact SL staff at 208-426-1004. We will help remove the student from the project.
Students should complete their orientation within the 3rd and 4th week of the semester.
For an example of the communication, see the ‘Missed Orientation Email Template‘.
What if I have a student that never showed up for service?
If a student has not shown up for service at all (which is different than if they showed up but did not finish), you will need to contact the Service-Learning Program so that we can “officially” remove them from your roster. We also strongly recommend contacting the faculty to let him/her know that student never showed up to serve and is no longer registered with your agency.
Do orientation hours count for student service?
The faculty of the course your project is matched with decides if orientation hours count toward the students’ total required service hours. Typically, orientation does count. However, for clarification, please ask the faculty.
How do I recognize an outstanding service-learning student or faculty member?
At the end of each semester, we celebrate and recognize outstanding community partners, faculty and students at our community partner/faculty mixer. When you RSVP for the event, you will be asked to nominate a student or faculty member for this award. We hope you will utilize this nominating process so we can publicly celebrate the outstanding efforts of our students and faculty.
More ways to recognize students and faculty:
- A kind word is always welcomed. If you have a student who is going above and beyond in his or her commitment, we recommend letting the faculty know.
- As for stellar SL faculty, it is a wonderful gesture to contact the chair of the instructor’s department to share just how much you value the instructor’s commitment to the community, as well as the specific impact of his or her involvement on your agency. If you need help connecting with the right person on campus, we are always here.
- Sharing with us the good word. We love to hear about students and faculty who are truly making a difference through our shared work. We also communicate our faculty and student successes with the media both on and off campus.
Is there a cap on the number of students per project in one semester?
The number of students per project will vary
depending on the nature of the project and the capacity of the agency.
The Service-Learning Program strongly advises new community partners to begin with 10 or less service-learning students. This allows the community partner, faculty, and students time to “ease into” the partnership in order to work through any challenges that might arise. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but we have found this to be very beneficial to most of our community partners. More experienced community partners may wish to increase their cap as needed.
Interested in increasing the number of students serving with your agency?
Please consider the following:
- Weigh the pros and cons of managing a larger group of students (i.e. how much staff time can your organization dedicate to managing more service-learners, etc).
- Consider going up incrementally, adding 5 to 10 students per semester, so you are not suddenly overwhelmed by service-learners.
- Consider feedback from current service-learning students about their experience before increasing the number of students in the same project.
Can a student continue to serve after their SL requirement is complete?
We encourage students to continue serving with the agency. We ensure students know that agencies really appreciate their continued participation and that they will likely see many benefits for their continued service such as letters of recommendation, potential job offers, and scholarship opportunities.
How can I promote consistent service?
Establishing clear expectations and maintaining regular communication will help to promote consistency with students. Make sure to tell students at orientation that it does not benefit your agency to have students wait until the end of the semester to try and complete all their hours. Let students know that you need them to come on a regular basis. We recommend scheduling the first day of service during orientation and it is a good idea to have a set schedule for students sign up to serve. It is also helpful to have these clear expectations written into your orientation materials.
Can my organization market the partnership of service learning?
What are the guidelines?
Service-Learning exists through the establishment of reciprocal relationships which benefits both the agency partner, through student service hours, and faculty partner, through the placement of students in meaningful service. We understand that in addition to student service hours, one of the benefits to our community partners may be a marketable relationship with Boise State University’s Service-Learning Program.
Below is our policy and guidelines for marketing your relationship with the Service-Learning Program at Boise State University. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Coordinator for Faculty and Community Engagement at 426-5722.
The goal of any marketing of the partnership between the Service-Learning Program at Boise State and a community partner should be to demonstrate, either to the organization’s clients or the community at large, the benefit of this partnership to meet a critical community need.
Any marketing materials must:
- Be clear that the partnership is between the Service-Learning Program at Boise State University, not the university at large
- Be honest about the extent of the relationship (i.e. “through the Service-Learning Program, Boise State students provide X amount of hours each semester to individuals, elders, elementary students, clients, etc. in our organization.”)
- Only to be used in times of active partnership and agree, in good faith, to be removed from web and print materials if the community partner becomes inactive for more than one semester.
Please note that due to Boise State University guidelines, community partners cannot use the Boise State logo on website or print materials.
Risk and Liability Questions
Should I have a student accountability policy?
Our faculty has chosen SL for their classroom because they believe that it makes a difference in student learning. A critical piece of that learning involves students actually showing up and being engaged. To that end, we strongly recommend you incorporate a student accountability policy into your orientation materials and communicate with faculty when a student is not adhering to your policy.
For an example, see the ‘Student Accountability Template’.
Should I have a student dress code?
It is suggested because students may need to be reminded that they are representing your organization, as well as Boise State University, during their service.
For an example, see the ‘Student Dress Code Template’.
Should I have a student code of conduct?
It is highly recommended because some students do not yet have work experience and will require some up-front guidelines. It is also recommended that you have two copies of this during orientation. Have the student sign one to keep and sign one to give to you.
For an example, see the ‘Code of Conduct Template‘.
Should I have a Student Confidentiality Agreement and Video Use authorization?
It is highly recommended in order to protect the confidentiality of your clients. It is also a good idea to include a student agreement that protects the digital media collected at your agency.
For an example, see the ‘Student Confidentiality and Video Use Agreement’.
What if a student is injured at the service site?
The student’s health insurance would be the primary financial resource for the students.
(All full time students are required to carry health insurance. The BSU Service-Learning Office strongly encourages part-time students to purchase health insurance).
** If the student is injured at the agency, the student would have the right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim against the agency or Boise State University. Agencies working with Service-Learning students are required to carry liability insurance to cover Service-Learning students. Some exceptions apply; contact the Service-Learning Director at 426-2380 for further information.
What if the student causes injury or property damage to a third party (i.e. agency staff or clients) ?
The damage or injury to a third party may be covered by the State of Idaho’s liability insurance if a student**, faculty, or staff member acted negligently to cause the damage or injury while working within the course and scope of their Boise State University authorized, funded, and supervised activities.
State Agencies are covered with respect to third party tort liability by the State of Idaho, Department of Administration Risk Management Program utilizing the Retained Risk Account. This is a plan of liability coverage provided by and subject to provisions of the Idaho Tort Claims Act, and the Department of Administration, Risk Management statutes. The limit of liability is $500,000 per occurrence. Each Agency shall be liable to the other for damage to property of the other caused by such Agency in the performance of this Service-Learning Agreement or any related task order. If the damaged property (including vehicles) is covered by property or auto coverage through Risk Management, then Risk Management shall charge the damage or loss, including any deductible, to the responsible Agency.
What if a student acts beyond the set parameters of the service-learning activity?
If a student or the agency in which a student is placed decides to take action inconsistent with BSU policy and outside the scope of the Service-Learning activity, they do so entirely on their own. Therefore, the student is not covered by Boise State’s insurance programs. The placement should terminate if these actions seriously jeopardize the academic purposes of the placement.
NOTE: The placement of Service-Learning students in a given organization is primarily for academic purposes, and therefore does not constitute an endorsement of that organization’s principles by Boise State.
What can be done to minimize risk?
- Faculty and agencies should spend time educating and training students of potential risks and safety procedures specific to the Service-Learning project.
- Faculty and agencies should use informed consent forms to make sure they communicate potential risks and that student participants understand and accept these risks.
- Establish a line of communication for students to report issues to their agency supervisor.
What should a student do if they are injured?
- If it is a life threatening injury, call 911 or get transported to the nearest emergency room.
- If it is not life threatening, follow up with St. Luke’s Occupational Health Clinic.
- As soon as possible, contact the instructor, the agency supervisor, and the Service-Learning Director at 426-2380. The Service-Learning Director will complete accident forms and work with Risk Management.
Can students drive as a part of their service?
- Students cannot drive clients as part of their service-learning experience.
- Students may elect to drive equipment and materials (ie. for planting projects, delivering food, etc.).
- Students should not be expected to drive their personal vehicle other than to and from the service.
- If driving is an essential part of the service, the agency must provide a vehicle and liability coverage.
Boise State is not liable for students getting to and from their service site. Ideally, Service-Learning staff and faculty will provide Service-Learning opportunities within walking distance and/or along major bus routes.
** The University’s liability coverage, through the State of Idaho, covers all approved Boise State Practicum and student training programs, including Service-Learning, except for clinical medical training programs. (i.e. nursing, pharmacy, radiological, physical therapy, dietetics, occupational therapy, physical assistants, etc.) These State exempt Practicums are covered by Nursing’s own Boise State University Student Professional Liability Insurance policy for Clinical Medical Practicum students. Boise State faculty and staff are covered for liability through our State insurance subject to the limits of the Idaho Tort Claims Act, while working within the “course and scope” of their assigned University responsibilities. A practicum is “a course of study involving practical application of previously studied theory under supervision of the colleges or universities of the State of Idaho.” Service-Learning meets this criteria.