Office of Service-Learning Support for Learning through Service

Request the S-Designation

S-Designation Courses

On May 30, 2007, the Council on Academic Affairs approved the proposal for policies and procedures for listing service-learning courses with an “S” suffix.  This addition makes it easier for students to locate service-learning courses and provides standards for course design across the university.  Due to several administrative changes to the course systems over the past few years, there are still many service-learning courses that do not carry the S-suffix.  To help students identify and faculty to promote service-learning courses, we are currently working with administration and faculty to ensure that the bulk of service-learning offerings get the S-designation.

Why should I apply for the S-designation?

If you plan to develop or already have an existing course that will be taught as a Service-Learning course, you should consider applying for the S-Designation. The S-Designation has many advantages for a course, including:

  • Making your classes more visible to students who are interested in service and search for S in the course catalog
  • Allowing us to promote your classes along with the other Service-Learning courses on our web site and through other channels
  • Having the opportunity for the course to be approved as a General Education course

All of these further widens your potential to reach out to students who are interested in service, but do not have a class in their discipline that offers it. It’s also a good way to attract new students to your department.

There are two versions of the S-Designation available to approved courses

S  — This simply adds an "s" as a suffix to a new or existing course that meets the requirements outlined in the Checklist for Developing Service-Learning Courses.

S+GE — In addition to the S-designation, a Service-Learning course can be counted as a General Education (GE) Themes course with the Integrative Practice of Service-Learning.  New courses will need to go through the regular course approval processes first, before applying for the GE.  The approval process for inclusion in the GE as an integrative practice, theme course is being handled by the GE Themes course approval committee.  More information on course submission processes for the GE can be found here.  

For instructors looking to developing courses for inclusion in the new GE, expected learning outcomes (ELOs) are now available in two reports.   The Report of the General Education Implementation Committee includes ELOs for each of the currently proposed Themes.  The Report of the High-Impact Practices Subcommittee includes suggested ELOs for community-based learning/service-learning courses.  Additional materials related to the service-learning in the GE, including ELOs and a rubric for student work, can be found here.  Instructors should use these as guides when developing or redesigning a course intended to be included in the new GE.

Process for Requesting the S-Designation

To request the s-designation for your course, please fill out the linked form and submit it to the Office of Service-Learning.

S-Designation Request Form

S-Designation Rubric

In addition to completing the form above, please ensure that you have requested an s-designation through the process on with your department's curriculum lead. For guidance on this process, please contact us at