Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Working with PCC Community-Based Learning students may be different than working with your traditional volunteers.

Community-Based Learning Students:

  • Will want to participate in an interactive service experience
  • Will need an orientation to the community agency or school
  • May or may not have previous volunteer or service experience
  • Will have a minimum number of service hours to complete
  • Appreciate flexibility, but need the expectations of the agency or school to be clearly state at the beginning of his/her service experience
  • Will look for ways to apply classroom theories to his/her observations in the community and vice versa
  • Will be eager to learn the goals and objectives of the agency or school in addition to learning new tasks that serve a community need
  • Are not graded on his/her work in the community, but on his/her ability to connect their service experience to course objectives through written assignments or class presentations

Things to Keep in Mind:


  • It is structured and well-organized?
  • Is it comprehensive?
  • Are written materials provided?
  • Will the student feel welcome and appreciated?
  • Will the student understand the agency’s mission and how their service learning assignment will contribute to that mission?


  • Will the student feel comfortable and be encouraged to talk/share issues and problems with the agency supervisor?
  • Will other staff understand the student’s role?
  • Will staff be friendly and help the student feel comfortable?
  • Does the supervisor view him/herself as a partner in education?

Overall Experience

  • Will the student be challenged to learn and grow from the experience?
  • Will the experience strengthen the student’s commitment to service and community involvement?
  • Will the student gain a better understanding of the relationship between service and citizenship?