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Academics

Service Learning

Why require Service Learning?

We desire that all Briercrest students be “formed spiritually and intellectually for lives of service” (Briercrest Mission Statement). Through supervised, purposeful, and transformational service, Briercrest students become consistent community contributors. In requiring Service Learning (SL) of all graduates, we hope to nurture habits of service through inviting reflection on the nature of appropriate service and its impact on both the giver and receiver of service.

What is service learning?

Service learning is unpaid, supervised, volunteer service on behalf of the church and other communities.

There are a few limitations as to what counts as SL.

  • A student’s family member(s) cannot be the primary recipients of service.
  • Briercrest undergraduate students cannot serve as the supervisor for other students.
  • Performance-based services (i.e., playing sports, singing/playing at a single event, etc.) do not count as SL.
  • Service for which a student receives academic credit or service in lieu of receiving pay for actual work experience do not count as SL.

How many Service Learning credits do I need to graduate?

Service Learning requirements are based on the number of credit hours a student will have completed at Briercrest to meet graduation requirements. For example, a student who will have completed all credits at Briercrest will have a greater SL requirement than a student who transferred to Briercrest after two years at another institution.

Number of credit hours completed at Briercrest Number of SL credits required for graduation
100-120+ 6 SL credits
61-99 4 SL credits
30-60 2 SL credits

As we want students to have diverse experiences, Service Learning must also be completed in a variety of contexts.

  • One-third of SL credits must be completed in a church context.
  • No more than 50% of SL credits can be earned through Briercrest volunteer services.
  • Individual programs cannot mandate more than 50% of Service Learning for students in the program (i.e., a non-credit internship/practicum, volunteer requirements as part of a course, etc.)
  • If a student is required to complete more than 4 SL credits, at least 1 SL credit must be completed in a community other than a church or Briercrest.
  • Students cannot accumulate more than 3 SL credits in a given semester.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that chosen SL activities will meet graduation requirements.

How many hours of service do I need to earn a SL credit?

Each SL credit represents approximately 20 hours of service. The hours can be completed in the following formats:

Hours counted Description
5 hours One day of service (at least 5+ hours in a day)
10 hours Two-day or weekend service project (at least 5 hours each day), or a total of 10+ hours served either weekly for part of the semester of bi-weekly for commitment for part of the semester or bi-weekly for the full semester
20 hours A semester of weekly involvement (generally 1-2 hours per week totaling 15-30 hours of service in a semester)
30 hours Intensive weeklong or summer-long service, or increased commitment and responsibility roughly equivalent to 40+ hours

Hours are cumulative. For example, Student A turned in three forms in the fall semester after completing a day of service (5 hours), a weekend project (10 hours), and a semester of weekly involvement (20 hours.) The student would have earned 1 SL credit for the semester (20 hours). The remaining 15 hours would be saved for a future semester, once the student had completed at least 5 more hours of service.

Can you connect me with SL opportunities?

It is primarily a student’s responsibility to find service learning opportunities. However, you are welcome to check out the Service Learning bulletin board near the Crossroads Café. While every effort is made to keep posted information updated, there is no guarantee that all information is accurate. You are also welcome to ask your program coordinator, other faculty members, RDs, etc. for ideas.

How do I report SL that I have completed?

For each completed service learning opportunity, you will need to turn in two forms.

  • Service Learning Log: If your service has been completed over more than two consecutive days, you will need to complete and submit a signed SL Log. Use this form to track hours as you complete them.
  • Service Learning Form: All parts of this form must be filled out. Your reflection will need to be typed and submitted with your completed form.

Completed form can be dropped off with the Service Learning Coordinator in L234 (library) or emailed to servicelearning@briercrest.ca.

What if I have more questions about SL?

Please visit Erin Gordon, the Service Learning Coordinator, in L234 (library) or email servicelearning@briercrest.ca.

 

 

Getting the chance to come together with a small group of believers to intensively study the Word while doing activities that we all have a passion for is really cool!
From the National Survey of Student Engagement 2015