Frequently Asked Questions

From Community Partners

If you are a nonprofit or public agency, or a private-sector agency with an project serving the greater public, and if your work serves the Monroe County community, then you are qualified to participate in service-learning. While some agencies serve those outside Monroe County, a location within the county makes it simpler to engage with students for project and service management.

Additionally, needs that fit service-learning well require sustained contact, with each student contributing roughly 20 hours of service at your agency or 20 hours of work on their final project to benefit your agency. Agencies should be prepared to sustain a relationship with the students and instructor of a course for the duration of the semester in which the partnership takes place. 

IU Corps can be another point for learning about opportunities to partner with campus . IU Corps is a network of Indiana University students, faculty, and staff interested in collaborating with on- and off-campus groups to address community-identified needs locally and beyond.

Advocates for Community Engagement (ACEs) are positioned in agencies that have multiple semesters of experience with service-learning, having hosted students from more than one course. The agencies have identified their interest in hosting an ACE and have a plan for growing or maintaining service-learning for at least the four year commitment of their ACE. There is annual fluctuation in where ACEs are housed due to the changing needs of agencies and the community at large, as well as the number of new scholarship spots we are granted through the Cox Scholars Program. These factors determine if growth to new agencies is possible each year.

While there is no set formula for how to receive an ACE, each of our ACE partner agencies has found a niche for service-learning in their agency, and the addition of service-learning adds to their ability to meet their mission and programming goals. The agencies also plan to have at least one service-learning partnership per semester and had previous experience with service-learning, building relationships with an instructor or course, prior to receiving an ACE.

No, you do not. While nearly 30 agencies in our community host Advocates for Community Engagement (ACEs), significantly more agencies participate in service-learning.

No, and you shouldn't. Service-learners should be plugging into your agency to fit needs that predate the partnership. Remember: the goal of service-learning is mutually beneficial partnership. Do you have a need that your team can't get to? Have a new strategic plan you'd like support getting put into action? Do you have recurring volunteer shifts you'd like consistently filled? These are excellent starting points for service-learning. Partnerships are best created when you come in with a clear idea of how service-learners would plug into your work. This prevents agencies from simply signing onto instructors' visions for their students and ensures you get work done that advances your mission.

That's up to you. Service-learning strives for equitable partnerships, with the community partner serving as an equal voice and a co-educator for students. However, we also realize that with limited staff and resources, your ability to engage with the course may be limited--particularly at certain times of year. For that reason, the scale and scope of your engagement with service-learners can adapt to fit the need you have identified and the culture and governance of your agency. The SLP staff can help you identify the role you'd like to play in a service-learning partnership, and this can be more explicitly laid out at the start of the partnership when working with faculty to develop your Statement of Expectations.