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Student FAQs

WHAT IS SERVICE-LEARNING

WHAT IS SERVICE-LEARNING?

Service-Learning is a way to connect your classroom to your community. Courses with a Service-Learning (SL) component offer students an opportunity to apply course concepts to a community service project and to critically reflect on this experience.

Examples:

  • PSYC 331: Psychology of Health students serve with Boise Parks and Rec to provide recreational activities, art and nutrition education to children.
  • MGMT 305: Human Resource Management students prepare employee manuals for a community organization.
  • ENGR 120: Intro to Engineering students create adaptive devices for people with disabilities.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO STUDENTS?

  • Hands-on application and knowledge.
  • Real world experiences that appeal to employers, graduate schools, and scholarship reviewers
  • Networking possibilities and references for your resume
  • Interaction with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Personal insights and growth
  • New awareness of community problems and solutions

WHAT KIND OF SERVICE-LEARNING CLASSES ARE OFFERED AT BOISE STATE?

  • Service-Learning Lab: optional, 1 credit co-requisite class that requires 40 hours of service and reflection time with faculty member outside of regular 3 credit class. You must register for the lab on BroncoWeb to receive credit.
  • Fully-Integrated Service-Learning class: service is mandatory part of curriculum and is an integral part of the learning process and class discussion.
  • Optional Service-Learning class: students have a choice to do service project in place of other assignment such as a research paper.

Please visit our Course Format page for more information.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING FOR MY SERVICE PROJECT?

The site supervisors match you with a service experience that relates to the class. Many positions will involve working directly with people, although some will involve working with computers or library research, and others may involve outside physical labor. Your site supervisor will make sure you are comfortable and prepared.

WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO DO MY SERVICE PROJECT?

There is some flexibility. You must contact your site supervisor immediately to plan your first visit. You will establish a regular weekly time for doing your project in consultation with the site supervisor.


WHERE WILL I BE DOING MY SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT?

Typically, a faculty member chooses to partner with 5-10 agencies based on how well the agency’s service project fits the learning goals of the class. From this list, students select which agency/project most interests them and fits their schedule and location needs. The SL office and faculty work hard to provide a diverse selection of agencies. Students wishing to design and implement a project with an agency not on the list may do so with faculty approval.

I AM CURRENTLY REGISTERED FOR MORE THAN ONE SL CLASS. CAN MY TOTAL HOURS BE REDUCED OR COMBINED?

It is your instructors’ decision whether to allow you to reduce your hours. Agencies should also be consulted about any reduction in hours of service. Our recommendation is a reduction of 25% of the combined hourly requirement. However, you must complete all of your service at one agency and the agency must offer an experience that relates to the learning objectives of both classes. Course assignments must not overlap (i.e. the same essay may not be submitted to both instructors). You, your instructors, and your agency should discuss and record how these requirements are met and then clarify the hour reduction.

Navigating OrgSync & Registering for a Project

HOW DO I FIND A SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT?

If you are enrolled in a Service-Learning class, you will receive an email inviting you to join your class portal in OrgSync. Through the email, you will log into OrgSync and click “Find a Service Project.” From there, you can see a list of available projects and choose the one most appealing to you. See below for a pictorial guide to registering for a project.

  • OrgSync button screenshot
    Registration #1

  • OrgSync main page screenshot
    Registration #2

  • Boise State login page screenshot
    Registration #3

  • My Membership screenshot
    Registration #4

  • Calendar RSVP button screenshot
    Registration #5

  • OrgSync screenshot
    Registration #6

  • OrgSync event screenshot
    Registration #7

  • OrgSync RSVP button screenshot
    Registration #8

HOW DO I SUBMIT TIME FOR MY SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT?

Students submit time electronically, through OrgSync. See below for a pictorial guide to time submission.

WHO APPROVES MY HOURS?

Hours are approved by your agency’s contact. Generally speaking, you should field questions related to time, time submission, or time-sheet discrepancies to that person.

HOW DO I SEE HOW MANY HOURS I HAVE COMPLETED?

In OrgSync, hover over “MY TOOLS,” near the top of the page, and click “INVOLVEMENT.” You will be taken to a page displaying the number of hours for which you have been approved.

HOW DO I NAVIGATE BACK TO MY PROJECT OR COMMUNITY PARTNERS' SITE IN ORGSYNC?

Within OrgSync you have two options. First you can hover over organizations and select your community partner; if you joined the page when you registered. The other way is to search for the agency in the blue search box.

I HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN INVITATION TO JOIN MY CLASS

If you are enrolled in a particular class but have yet to receive an email invite, be aware of the following barriers:

  • If you are a student employee with a “@boisestate.edu” email, it is possible the invitation ended up at that address.
  • Waitlisted students will not receive an invitation until they have successfully enrolled in the class. Make sure that you are not on the waitlist.
  • If you recently enrolled in the class, please log onto OrgSync, search for your class in the search bar in the upper-right hand corner of the screen, and click “Join Now.”

WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO DO MY SERVICE PROJECT?

There is some flexibility. You must contact your site supervisor immediately to plan your first visit. You will establish a regular weekly time for doing your project in consultation with the site supervisor.

ORIENTATIONS

I MISSED MY ORIENTATION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

It is your responsibility to call the agency ASAP to apologize and request another appointment. The agency is under no obligation to make special arrangements for you. Contact us if they can not accommodate you.


I WENT TO THE ORIENTATION, BUT THE AGENCY IS NOT THE RIGHT PLACE FOR ME/ OR MY SCHEDULE CONFLICTS WITH SERVICE TIMES. CAN I CHANGE AGENCIES?

Contact our office right away to discuss your concerns and explore solutions or other service opportunities. Warning: If you have waited too long into the semester, your options may be very limited.

I CAN’T ATTEND THE ORIENTATION OF THE PROJECT I REALLY WANT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

First, consider other projects carefully. If no other project is suitable, call the agency to ask if they are willing to schedule a separate orientation for you. NOTE: This is a significant request and the agency is not obligated to accommodate you.


DO MY ORIENTATIONS COUNT TOWARD SERVICE HOURS?

Your instructor decides if orientation hours count towards your total required hours. Typically, orientations do not count but additional hours of training will count.

FINDING A PROJECT 

CAN I SERVE AT AN AGENCY NOT MATCHED WITH MY CLASS?

Your instructor decides if you can serve at an alternative agency. We do not recommend this option for two reasons. First, choosing from the agency list provided is generally less work for you, because the logistics are prearranged (the agency is prepared to work with students, orientations are scheduled, and project details are established). Second, we cannot support you in serving with an agency with whom we do not have a relationship or contractual agreement. However, with your instructor’s approval we do provide a checklist and form for doing a “student initiated project”. The form is posted on the student page of our website under “Getting Started”.

THE PROJECT I WANT TO SIGN UP FOR IS “FULL” (I WAS BLOCKED FROM SELECTING IT ONLINE). WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

First, consider other open projects carefully. If you are set on a project that is full, contact us at 426-1004 to discuss the possibility of opening a slot for you.

IT’S AFTER WEEK TWO OF THE SEMESTER AND I HAVE NOT REGISTERED FOR A PROJECT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Register right away! Students need to register by the end of week two of the semester, because agency orientations start in week three. If you need help registering for your project, contact our office at 426-1004 or servicelearning@boisestate.edu. If you wait any longer to register: 1) you may not get the project you want, 2) you risk missing the agency orientation, 3) you may find yourself with limited options 4) the delay could impact your grade.


WHAT IF I HAVE NOT STARTED MY PROJECT BY WEEK FIVE?

If you have not started because you have failed to contact your agency, the agency is under no obligation to work with you this late in the semester. Contact the agency to discuss if they can accommodate you. If the delay has been a result of complications in working with the agency (i.e.: they have not been responsive or not prepared with a project for you), please contact our office for assistance at 426-1004.

GETTING STARTED

I WON’T BE ABLE TO COMPLETE ALL OF THE REQUIRED HOURS. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Speak with your agency supervisor about your concerns and explore other service opportunities with them (for example, a special one day event can equal a lot of hours). Contact our office at 426-1004 if the agency is not able to accommodate you. Warning: If you have waited too long into the semester, your options may be very limited.

WHAT IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY AGENCY? IS MID-SEMESTER TOO LATE?

Switching agencies may only occur in extenuating circumstances and should be approved by your instructor. You may only switch agencies if you are willing to serve no less than ten hours for the new agency, because the agency will need to invest time giving you an orientation.


HOW DO I TRANSITION OUT OF MY SERVICE IF I AM WORKING WITH VULNERABLE POPULATIONS AND/OR HAVE ESTABLISHED PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS?

It is important that you bring closure to your relationship. We suggest that you talk to your companion about approaching the end of your time together. You may give companion a small symbolic gift (a poem, a greeting card, etc.). Sometimes you can even plan a little celebration together, to celebrate your service with them.


CAN I CONTINUE SERVING EVEN AFTER MY SL REQUIREMENT IS COMPLETE?

That is wonderful you want to continue serving! We encourage all students to continue serving with their agency. The agencies really appreciate your continued participation and you will likely see many benefits for your continued service such as letters of recommendation, job offers, and scholarship opportunities.

HOW DO I VIEW MY SERVICE-LEARNING AGENCY EVALUATION?

To view your evaluation,

  • Log into the Student Home Page
  • In the upper right corner, enter your student ID number and last name
  • *You may be asked to update your contact information before the next step
  • The “Welcome” page will show any current SL projects you are registered for AND at the bottom of the page there will be “”View your past SL courses and agency evaluations”, click on this link
  • Then click on “View Evaluation” next to each of the previous projects you have registered for.  From here you can download a pdf of each evaluation.
  • *If you have further questions, feel free to contact our office at servicelearning@boisestate.edu

THE SL STUDENT CHECKLIST SAYS STUDENTS MUST MAINTAIN HEALTH INSURANCE. WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE IT?

Health Insurance is not mandatory to participate in SL; however we strongly encourage it because BSU liability insurance does not cover students if they injured at the site. Most –but not all– agencies have liability insurance to cover students. The important thing is for you to be aware of this.

I NEED A TB TEST BEFORE I BEGIN SERVING AT MY AGENCY. WHERE CAN I GET A TB TEST?

For students who have SHIP (the student health insurance), the TB test is covered. Students can either take both parts of the test through the Health Center or just have the test read at no cost to the students. Who has SHIP at BSU? SHIP provides health care coverage for full-fee paying students and their dependents.

For students who do not have SHIP or some other insurance, the TB test is not covered. The cost to the student to give the entire two-part test is $12. The cost to only read the test, again this is for the student who does not have insurance, is $28. Why is it more to just read the test? The Health Center has to take responsibility for the test and thus must schedule the student for a office visit to learn more about who gave the test, the time, etc. The $28 is a standard office visit fee.


I AM AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT. I NEED A BACKGROUND CHECK FOR THE AGENCY I WISH TO SERVE. WHAT DO I DO?

There are two options.  One, you can switch to an agency that does not require a background check.  Two, you can ask International Student Services to write a letter regarding the process of which students are granted a Visa.  It is up to the agency as to whether or not this letter will count as a background check.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A TYPICAL SERVICE-LEARNING COURSE?

It depends on the class and the faculty member, but generally…

  • You will do a minimum fifteen hours of service over the course of the semester or you will work on a project that has an end product.
  • You will share how your service relates to the course during class discussions and assignments.