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High-Impact Educational Practices (HIPs)

Service Learning, Community-Based Learning

What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with course content and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach social and civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.


Service Learning Application and Approvals Timeline

For Fall classes:
Application deadline for faculty January 31
Provisional Approval to faculty of Service Learning concept February 15
Service Learning class deliverables (syllabus and project assignment) March 31
Dispersal of grant monies April 15
For Spring classes:
Application deadline for faculty August 31
Provisional Approval to faculty of Service Learning concept September 15
Service Learning class deliverables (syllabus and project assignment) October 31
Dispersal of grant monies November 15

Assignments for Students

Reflective Assignment

Service Reflection Toolkit.docx
Reflection Paper Prompt Service Learning.docx

Other Ideas

  • Tell your service story for the Parley Student Journal “How Do I Serve?” Writing and Art Contest
  • Tell your service story on “I Serve” through our Talk Service section

If students do not seem to have a clear vision of their place in community, try some of the following strategies to get them thinking about their potential power.

  • Work as a class to define what creates community. (where we work, play, travel, …) List what you appreciate about our community. What is working? Define concerns you have about our community. Talk about how we might effect change.
  • Have the students identify their own assets. What are you good at that you could share with the community? Tutoring? Construction skills? Automotive training? Reading to children? Landscaping? Fundraising? Health and Medicine? Seniors? Animal Rescue? Crisis Support? Etc.
  • Have students survey other students or community members. Have students read the local newspapers to foster an awareness of the concerns and successes of our community. (Report, Reflect, Action, Reflect again.)
  • Research via the databases a particular service organization and report on possible ways PPCC or individuals could get involved. (Red Cross, Care and Share, CASA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Fostering Hope, Marian House, Habitat for Humanity, etc) Go to our PPCC LibGuide for resources and help.
  • Encourage students to investigate the many service projects on PPCC. (Report, Reflect, Action, Reflect again.)
  • Share a time when you engaged in a service project. How did the experience affect your attitude or feelings toward service?
  • Ask students to research children who are food insecure when school is not in session.


Resources for Educators

Teaching Tolerance - A thoughtful essay about the days after the election in classrooms.

PBS - A lesson plan about democracy and healing divisions

Newsela - A factual article about the election that can be changed for different reading levels in English and Spanish.

Election Processing Community Circle Activity - Helping students of all ages talk about the election.

How to lead thoughtful, constructive conversations:

  • Talk about issues and not personalities
  • Identify concerns
  • Process emotions
  • Process next steps


Engaging Discussion Topics

Use the following questions to help your students think about their relationship to the community, its needs and priorities, and how they might make a difference through a Service Learning project:

  • What would you define as “your community”? Is it your school, your neighborhood, your city, your state? How would you describe it?
  • How do you feel about your connection to your community? Connected? Unconcerned? Useful? Ignored? Needed? Try to explain why you feel this way.
  • What makes you feel proud about your community? What are the benefits of being a part of your community? What are you doing to sustain/support/build these positive traits?
  • How do you think you will know when the community values your input? What are the ways you can share your opinions with the community? Where is your power?
  • What things about your community make you sad, disappointed, frustrated or even angry? How might your neighborhood, school or community be a better place? What could you do to make a difference?


INSTRUCTORS: You might want to use these questions as a guide to start discussion with your class about service. You could write and add discipline specific questions to the list to focus the conversation.

Sample Assignment for Syllabus

Service Project ( ____ points, ____% of Grade): 

Our primary focus is to study trends within the field of science and technology and how they changed over time; equally as important is how we take this knowledge and impact our community. This latter piece of the course will create an experience that you can both put on your resume, use on applications for universities, or share in job interviews. Four service learning students in Phi Theta Kappa earned over 125k in scholarship monies because they simply became involved in their campuses and communities. Service Learning courses, done well, can do the same for students in this course. We will collaborate together to create a service learning project or an advocacy campaign: our class, then, will create a proposal together, cull sources for a group annotated bibliography, and create a SWAY presentation in an effort to share our investigation about project, how we impacted the community, and what we’ve learned from the experience. I am excited about our collaboration!

Volunteer Opportunities  


Fire Alarm Installations and Neighborhood Canvassing


Tom Gonzalez, Executive Director of American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado (719 785-2701), is seeking help from PPCC students to assist with installing fire alarms in homes in Colorado Springs.  The Red Cross gives away and installs fire alarms in homes around our region – thus far they have installed alarms in over 3,000 homes in our city.  They rely on volunteers to do the work. 


They provide a basic training for volunteers who work in 3-person teams.  At least one person on the team needs to be handy with a cordless drill. They are working to organize a large installation day on September 23rd in the Ivywild neighborhood area.  There is also a pre-installation canvassing opportunity to let residents in the area know about the upcoming opportunity to have their home inspected and new fire alarms installed if needed.  Contact or see flier below for more information.


Neighbor Up! Neighborhood Pride Project


Amy Filipiak, GEO faculty, is leading a team for the “Neighbor Up! Neighborhood Pride Project” October 28th, and would love to have her team be PPCC people. The neighborhood is north of the intersection of Chelton and Jet Wing. Contact Max Cupp (719)471-3105 or see flier below for more details on the cleanup. 

Tech Help Day

Knowledgeable Computer Information Systems students from Pikes Peak Community College will answer questions and help with cell phones, smartphones, iPads, Kindles, iPods, and other gadgets.  

9:30am - 11:00am. October 18-20  


For more information contact:

Mary Swantek
Operations and Program Director
YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region
Colorado Springs Senior Center

1514 North Hancock Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO 80903


The Resource Exchange

Work with The Resource Exchange's (TRE) Research Center to support operations, while participating in community based research activities. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Nichole Guerra or 719.785.6441.

Combat Paper

Founded by Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars in 2008, Combat Paper is dedicated to honoring the stories of veterans and active duty service-members by giving them a creative outlet whereby they turn memories into personal documents. Military uniforms are turned into paper pulp, and workshop participants “pull” or “create” sheets of one of a kind paper. PPCC students are encouraged to participate in the event February 23 & 24 at the Centennial Campus, and interested faculty and adjuncts are encouraged to encourage their students. Contact Laura BenAmots for more information.

Haseya Advocate Program

Haseya Advocate Program is a native-specific advocacy program working to address violence against Native women. Haseya's vision is that every American Indian/Alaska Native woman will be treated with respect, honored as a sacred being, and have a safe and peaceful life. Red Wind focuses on ending violence against Native women and works on a variety of local and national projects.

A volunteer working with Haseya can not only gain great experience but can also develop their resume. Haseya can be a reference for successful volunteers. For more information email, or by phone at (719) 896-2560 x101.

Junior Achievement

Local schools are in need of volunteers this coming month for Junior Achievement (JA) in a Day events. JA in a Day is a one-day event offered at both the elementary and middle school levels where all classrooms receive every session from a grade-appropriate Junior Achievement (JA) program. The JA experience uses hands –on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. The goal is to open their minds to new opportunities.

Globe Charter volunteers can sign up here:

Roosevelt Charter Academy volunteers may complete the volunteer registration at the link below:


Please contact Bruce McCluggage for questions about Service Learning assessment.

HIPs Faculty Specialists are peer experts who are ready to assist fellow faculty to implement or improve high impact practices. 


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