Service-Learning and Students

Can I set up my own service opportunity?

If you are enrolling in a service activity for a service-learning course, the course instructor/faculty person will need to approve of any placement you choose to set up. Your service site will then need to be added to the OSSA system.

Students or student club/organizations wishing to set up their own service opportunities will need to complete and turn in the USF Liability Waiver and Self-Selected Service Site forms along with their tracking forms. If you wish to have the OSSA track hours for your self-placed activities, please note that the service you are providing must meet the service guidelines below:

Other Activities which meet requirements as Service

  • Organizing and working at service or fundraising events
  • Blood Drives (giving blood, up to 1 hour a semester)
  • Participating in fundraising walks, 5K, dances, Polar Plunges (up to 1 hour a week)
  • Serving for USF-related events such as MLK Day of Service, may be counted.

Activities which do not meet requirements as Service

  • Philanthropic activities¬† - helping others through the giving of money or donation of material items
  • Observing at an agency
  • Working Open Houses on campus
  • Serving on Campus or Student Committees
  • Working an event sponsored by a club or organization in which student is a member

Missing scheduled service because of illness or emergencies

If you must miss a scheduled service opportunity due to family emergency, illness or other serious issue, please notify the Office for Service and Social Action immediately at 260.399.8080 or as soon as possible. Please leave a voice mail after hours. Students should also phone their contact person (who is waiting for you to arrive) as soon as possible. It is a good practice to add the phone numbers for your service site and the OSSA  to your cell phone contacts at the beginning of a semester when you will be serving in the community. If you give the OSSA at least 24 hours notice of your absence, we will include the reason for your absence in your service record.

What if I cannot attend a one day service event for which I signed up?

Please let us know in advance if you cannot attend a one day projects for which you registered by contacting us at or 260.399.8080 as soon as possible.

Problems at a service site

The OSSA contacts community partner agencies to makes every effort to communicate procedures and conduct safety assessments regarding student service opportunities. We do make every effort to ensure student safety when at a site. However, if you feel unsafe at an agency, or another service participant reports an incident to you, you MUST contact the Office for Service and Social Acion as well as the agency where you served as soon as possible so that appropriate incident reporting can be made.

Tracking Service Hours

Whenever you sign up for Service activities through the OSSA website, you can be assured that we will track your hours for you. Remember to thoroughly complete and turn in a Service Tracking form to the in order to “get credit” for serving).

If you have created your own service opportunity, but still wish to have your hours tracked in our system, you must:

  • Contact the OSSA to let them know about the service opportunity
  • Have your tracking form signed by the contact person at the agency where you are serving (every time you serve).
  • Bring your completed tracking form to our office within one week of the most recent service event.

Can my instructor view my service-learning hours?

Faculty are able to login and see any service which you have connected to their course once you have turned in your tracking form. They will be able to see the service dates, times, activities, number of hours served, and any comments that agency contact persons have made about your service at their agency.