Navigating the University: Service Learning, Community Service, and Internships at CSU East Bay
There are a variety of ways to partner with the university when looking for students in service. The three basic models: academic service learning, internships, and community service are generally coordinated through three different areas in the university. Like any corporate entity, the university has a complex infrastructure, which means that on occasion, the wheels of the university move slowly. The plus side is that because of the many programs and offices, there is no 'cookie cutter' model for developing partnerships.
Mostly it takes good old fashioned leg-work. Generally, faculty and program coordinators are approachable -- however, because of the nature of 'academia' some folks here need a credential or degree to spark their interest. Therefore, learning the culture of the university: the lingo, academic calendar, and procedures will help you to be successful in the matchmaking process.
Academic Service Learning activities at CSUEB are facilitated through and connected to specific courses based on a faculty member's interest in sponsoring a service learning activity in his/her class. Some faculty actively seek out these types of projects through the service learning website or by contacting the Director of Service Learning. On the whole, we must reach out to faculty to let them know of the community-based learning opportunities for their students. The Director of Service Learning offers workshops, disseminates a program newsletter, and engages in general campus outreach in order to stay connected with faculty. The community partner can assist the Director by informing our office of activities well in advance of the calendar date. Keep in mind that faculty must plan out courses the quarter before they teach them. For example, a faculty member teaching a course in the spring (end of March to beginning of June) will be planning a syllabus and calendar in the winter! Because we run on a ten week quarter system, there is not much room for last minute schedule changes.
Internships are coordinated through two offices: the Career Development Center and the department office. The Career Development Center has a great online submission form for internships (http://www20.csueastbay.edu/academic/academic-support/aace/resources/employers.html). Many department offices keep binders of internships or have faculty coordinators. You can contact the departments through the campus directory (http://www20.csueastbay.edu/directory/). The essential differences between an internship and academic service learning are as follows: internships generally require more hours and/or expertise; students seek out internships independent of courses for additional academic credit or pre-professional experience.
The third mode, community service, follows a more traditional model of volunteerism. Many student clubs and organizations engage in community service. Our campus boasts a variety of clubs and organizations—social, cultural, academic—that may connect with the population or mission of your organization. Our Student Life and Leadership Program frequently coordinates community outreach projects. You can contact clubs and organizations through Student Life and Leadership, email@example.com.