Center for Citizenship and Community

Frequently Asked Questions

The Indianapolis Community Requirement and Service Learning

Why should I take an ICR or SL course?WalkingWag
Not only will you fulfill your graduation requirement, but you will also gain valuable experience.

What is the Indianapolis Community Requirement (ICR)?
All students who have entered the university on or after the fall 2010 semester are required to take a course that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis community.

What is an ICR or service learning (SL) course?
The ICR or SL designation does not represent the topic of the course, but a particular teaching method that involves (among other things) practical, out-of-classroom experience. Either an ICR or an SL course will satisfy the community requirement.

An ICR or SL course may be taken in the core curriculum, in the major, or as an elective. 

What is the difference between ICR and service-learning course?
Service-learning is defined at Butler as academic learning linked to relevant community service. It is a pedagogical approach that combines the theoretical work of the classroom with projects in the community that deepen students' understanding of academic issues while engaging them in civic learning. Courses listed as ICR engage students in the Indianapolis community but may not necessarily follow the service-learning pedagogy. 

How are ICR courses marked in Course Search?
An ICR designated course will be coded with either an "I" or an "S." For example, "PX 200S" and "GHS 208 08S" are both service-learning courses that satisfy the ICR. "ES 104-I" is a course that satisfies the ICR. Be aware that sometimes an "I" or an "S" may be part of a different code. For instance, "BI" may stand for "Biology," or "IS" may mean "International Studies." Some courses may offer option ICR or SL components. That choice will be clear in the registration process.

Visit this page for a list of schedules ICR and SL courses.

What should I expect from an ICR or SL course?
Count on spending time at CCC partner sites outside the classroom. Exactly what you'll be doing will vary, but coursework in the past has included getting to know Iraqi refugees in Indianapolis, tutoring children in public schools, or teaching dance.

When should I take an ICR or SL course?
Short answer: Whenever you like.

Longer answer: There are no restrictions, although we don't recommend enrolling in more than one per semester. Courses that fulfill the ICR requirement will be offered every semester you're here at Butler. The nature of the experience, however, may change depending on the course level. Freshman ICR courses, for example, may guide you to or from a particular major, while ICR courses for upperclassmen may involve the practical application of specific theories.

How much time outside the classroom will I need to commit?
At least 20 hours per semester. A fair rule of thumb is two hours each week at your assigned site. These hours will typically be outside the regularly scheduled class meetings, and are usually spread throughout the course of the semester. Check the course syllabus for details. Many students find that they want to commit more than the required 20 hours, and some go on to maintain a relationship with their site years after the course has finished.

What will site personnel expect of me?
To be conscientious, reliable, and respectful. To commit yourself to the learning experience. To dress appropriately and respect onsite rules.

Take yourself, your reflections, and your assignments seriously, and you'll do fine.

How will I be graded?
(1) Whether or not you have worked the minimum required service hours. (2) The quality of your engagement at the site. (3) Your reflection journal and other assignments that draw on your onsite activities.

You must pass the course to get credit for the ICR. In addition to the regular course grade, ICR courses are documented on your transcript. If you complete the work needed for ICR credit, a transcript notation following the course information will read: "Indianapolis Community Requirement: Satisfied." If you fail to complete the work needed for ICR credit, even if you pass the course, the transcript notation will read: "Indianapolis Community Requirement: Not Satisfied."

How do I get to the site?
Some sites are walkable. Others require transportation. Generally we've been able to rely on pairing students without cars with students who have cars. In other cases, students have chosen optional sites within walking distance.