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Community Engaged Learning Letter of Understanding for Faculty

Dear Faculty:

On behalf of the Bethel- Frogtown/ Summit-University Partnership, we would like to thank you for entering into a partnership to provide a rich educational opportunity for our students. In order to become involved with Bethel’s Community Engaged Learning program, we kindly request that you review the following information to ensure that this is a good experience for yourself, students, and community partners.  

Community Engaged Learning is the combination of academic coursework with carefully planned, meaningful service that provides direct benefits to the community.  Each student will spend 25 hours (there are a few exceptions) throughout the semester working with a community organization.

The goals of Community Engaged Learning are:

  • To enhance classroom learning

  • To provide direct service that benefits the community

  • To promote civic responsibility and social justice

As a Professor teaching a Community Engaged Learning course, you will ensure that these students are provided with:

  • You will emphasize the importance of meeting the expectations laid out in the Student Letter of Understanding.

  • You will emphasis with students that they must work for 25 hours for the duration of the semester.  Students are required to start working with their community partner within the first 4 weeks of the semester and work with that site until the last week of class.  

  • Let students know that if they don’t follow through with those expectations it will negatively impact their course grade.

  • By the second class period, you will make sure that every student has signed up to work with a community partner.

  • You will have conversations with students who are not meeting their commitments

  • Provide students with reflection assignments and activities that help them process their experiences.  

In order to provide a quality experience for both the community organization and students the Bethel office of service-learning commits to do the following.

  • Provide a clear letter of understanding to each student who is taking a service-learning course.  This letter will clearly outline the professors’, students’, and community organizations’ roles.

  • Will provide students with the evaluation form that each site supervisor will use during the semester to evaluate their performance.  Here is a copy of that form https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PdKaJuzd2ZD2_xUITp0ycMBX2TbrCaf-Lm630zunWVY/edit?usp=sharing

  • Provide a clear letter of understanding to each community organization who is taking a service-learning course.  This letter will clearly outline the professors’, students’, and community organizations’ roles.

  • At the end of the first week of classes, we will e-mail each community organization with a list of students who will be contacting them about volunteering that semester.

  • We will provide students with specific orientation and application information from the community organization that they will be working with.

  • We will track each students hours and report them to their faculty member throughout the semester.  

  • We will check-in with each site supervisor several times throughout the semester to make sure that everything is going fine.

  • We will provide each site supervisor a student evaluation form during the semester.  This form will allow supervisors’ to give specific feedback on each student’s involvement.  

Any questions or concerns, please contact Tanden Brekke Assistant Director of Service-Learning and Community Engagement at 651-635-8693 or t-brekke@bethel.edu