FAQs

Community Service-Learning FAQs


Community Service-Learning FAQs

    What is Community Service-Learning and how is it different from community service and volunteerism?

    Community Service-Learning means integrating community service into the academic curriculum. It is a method by which students learn and develop through active participation in service experiences that meet identified community needs and:

    • Are coordinated in collaboration with the school and the community;
    • Provide structured time for students to reflect on their experiences;
    • Provide opportunities for students to use acquired skills and knowledge in real-life situations;
    • Enhance what is taught in school by extending student learning beyond the classroom;
    • Help foster the development of a sense of caring for others.

    Community Service-Learning is the blending of learning and service goals so that both learning and service occur and each enriches the other.

    Community Service means a service performed by students or adults through educational institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, social service agencies or philanthropies. It is generally designed to provide the community service worker direct experience with people or project planning, with the goal of improving quality of life in the community, particularly for disadvantaged or low-income individuals or families. Community service may or may not be connected to the academic curriculum and may be completed outside the school day.

    Volunteerism means a service performed of one's own free will, without pay, for a charitable, community or humanitarian cause. Volunteerism is usually conducted outside the school day and is driven by a personal desire to provide service. 

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    What must a district or school do to establish a Community Service-Learning program?

    See Getting Started: About Community Service-Learning Programs. Additional information and ideas are available in the Model Curriculum Guide and Sample Projects.

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    How can students become eligible to receive state recognition for Community Service-Learning?

    Eligibility Criteria for Student Recognition through the Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence:

    First, per ORC 3313, a local district or other governing authority must be certified by the state superintendent of public instruction to run a Community Service Learning Program. It may become certified by establishing a Community Service-Learning Committee and CSL plan.

    Beginning Sept. 1, 2013, the governing authority of a school that includes community service-learning as part of its education program shall award the Community Service-Learning special recognition to any graduating senior who is found to be eligible in accordance with the following provisions:      

    (1)Completes the high school curriculum, individualized education program (IEP) or career-technical education program as developed for the student by the high school; and
     

    (2)Attains proficient scores on all Ohio graduation tests required for high school graduation under division (B) of section 3301.0710 of the Revised Code or an alternative pathway, and;
     

    (3)Successfully completes a Community Service-Learning project in grades 9 through 12 that receives an excellent or higher rating on the Ohio Community Service-Learning project rubric, available in the guidance document, Getting Started: About Community Service-Learning Programs.

     

    The following table represents the levels at which students are eligible to receive special recognition for successful completion of a Community Service-Learning project, according to this rubric.

    Level Score Eligible/Not Eligible
    Advanced 32 Eligible
    Excellent 24-31 Eligible
    Proficient 23 or below Not Eligible

     

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    Can a student exempted from the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) through an IEP earn a Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence?

    Yes. An exempted student may earn a Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence if he or she meets all IEP requirements as well as the specified criteria for Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence.

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    Can a student on an IEP utilize Credit Flexibility to earn an elective through service-learning?

    Yes. A student on an IEP who wants to earn an elective through service-learning via Credit Flexibility may do so. Keep in mind, however, the IEP language and accommodations must be met, the criteria for Credit Flexibility must be met, and districts offering service-learning credit must meet the requirements of ORC 3313.605. Districts must have an advisory committee, develop a Community Service-Learning Plan and submit that plan to ODE for approval. When high school credit is being granted, approximately half of the course should be educating students in the value of community service and its historical contributions, and approximately half of the course should be devoted to Community Service-Learning activities. 

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    May a student who graduates under the OGT alternate pathway receive a Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence?

    Yes, if the student also meets the eligibility requirements for CSL student recognition, he or she can receive a Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence.

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    Do advanced courses taken in middle or junior high school count toward meeting Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence?

    The eligibility criteria state that students will successfully complete a CSL project in grades 9, 10, 11 or 12. However, every high school may permit students below the ninth grade to take advanced work for credit. The high school will count this advanced work toward the requirements for a diploma only if the coursework is designated by the local board of education as meeting high school curriculum requirements and has been taught by an individual with a valid high school teaching certificate or license.

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    Can a district require students to apply for a Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence?

    No. Students cannot be required to apply for the Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence. Districts must award the Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence to any student who has met the established criteria.

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    If a district or school has a community service-learning course or educational program that is not a graduation requirement, do they have to have an advisory committee?

    The operating standards define an “educational program” as having an approved scope, sequence and course of study by the board of education, such as English, math and science. If a district has a scope, sequence and course of study for its community service-learning program, according to ORC 3313.605 it must identify an advisory committee. 

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    Are students who attend a non-tax-supported, non-chartered school eligible for the Community Service-learning Award of Excellence?

    No. Students who attend a non-chartered non-tax-supported school are not eligible because they do not meet the requirements to receive a diploma in Ohio. Students of a non-charter non-tax-supported school are not required to meet the CORE curriculum standards nor do they take the Ohio Graduation Test (Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-08). See the section on how students become eligible.

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    Are students who receive home education eligible for the Community Service-Learning Award of Excellence?

    No. Home-educated students do not meet the eligibility requirements to receive a diploma in Ohio. Students educated at home through home education are not required to meet the CORE curriculum standards nor do they take the Ohio Graduation Test (Ohio Administrative Code 3301-34).

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    Are chartered nonpublic schools eligible for the Community Service-learning Award of Excellence?

    Yes, if they meet the student eligibility requirements. They must complete all minimum curriculum requirements and receive passing scores on the Ohio Graduation Tests (Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-12). See the section on how students become eligible. 

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Last Modified: 7/26/2013 11:59:03 AM