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
|6 SL credits
|4 SL credits
|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:
|One day of service (at least 5+ hours in a day)
|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
|A semester of weekly involvement (generally 1–2 hours per week totaling 15–30 hours of service in a semester)
|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, if you are finding it difficult to find something that works for you, the Service Learning office is collecting a list of ideas and opportunities and will provide information through regular communication (Briercrest Buzz) and as requested by email to email@example.com.
How do I report SL that I have completed?
If your SL opportunity reflects a consistent commitment to one organization or opportunity please fill out the new Service Learning Form (one for each expected credit) and provide details to summarize your involvement (how often and what you did to serve).
if you are reporting a collection of service opportunities, please track your hours in the Service Learning Log (with reflection) and submit the log and reflection assignment to the Service Learning Coordinator in room 218B (Academic Services) or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I have more questions about SL?
Please visit Michelle Ernst, the Service Learning Coordinator, in 218B (Academic Services) or email email@example.com.