Service Learning Frequently Asked Questions

There are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about CPS, service-learning and the public service graduation requirement.

Can I use my other volunteer hours to fulfill my graduation requirement?

Service must be completed within an academic context. Academic credit must be assigned for students to complete the graduation requirement. This can be through s-l courses, internships, independent studies, study abroad, honors thesis, etc., but academic department must be giving credit to that service experience.

Does the second tier of the requirement require 40 hours of service?

No, the graduation requirement is not hours based. Certain service learning courses may require a 40-hour commitment based on the needs of that project, but the second tier of the requirement can be fulfilled with a service learning course that only requires 20 hours. For example, a student can complete the graduation requirement by completing a 20-hour 1000-level course and a 20-hour 4000-level course.

Can I add a service component to any course to fulfill my requirement?

All service learning courses are vetted prior to the semester by both the CPS Curriculum Committee as well as the Newcomb Tulane College -Curriculum Committee. Professors must submit their course prior to the semester beginning to have it reviewed for public service credit. This is not a process that students can initiate.

Likewise, the approved activities for service-learning course have been selected by faculty so that the service complements the in-class teaching. These activities have been vetted by the same committees and approved for use in that course. Therefore, students cannot create new service activities for existing service learning courses.

Can CPS staff approve my service activity?

CPS staff cannot approve s-l activities, courses, internships, study abroad credit, independent study, honors theses, etc. We have faculty committees that must review and approve everything before submitting to Newcomb Tulane College for final approval.

Can I sign up for just the service component if I have taken the course in the past?

Service learning requires concurrent enrollment in both the academic course and the service learning component. As reflection is a major attribute of s-l, it is imperative that students are learning and serving at the same time.

Will CPS arrange transportation for me to my service site?

CPS may coordinate some groups service learning trips, but students are required to schedule their individual rides.

Must service learning (first or second tier) be completed within my major?

Traditional service learning courses can be completed within any department. Public service internships, independent studies, and honors theses may need to be completed within the student's major or minor department as many departments will not sponsor these sorts of activities for non-majors.