Community Voice - Community voice is essential
if we are to build bridges, bring about change, and solve problems.
Any community service organization should make sure that the voice
and needs of the community are included in the development of the
community service program.
Orientation & Training - Orientation and
training are important first steps for any community service
experience. Information should be provided for student volunteers
about the community, the issue, and the agency or community
Meaningful Action - Meaningful action means
that the service being done is necessary and valuable to the
community itself. Meaningful action makes people feel like what
they did made a difference in a measurable way, and that their time
was well used. Without this, people will not want to continue their
service, no matter how well we do with the other four elements.
Reflection - Reflection is a crucial component
of the community service learning experience. Reflection should
happen immediately after the experience to discuss reactions, share
stories, and explore feelings. Reflection is also a good time to
present additional facts about the issues and thus dispel any
stereotypes or an individual's alienation from service. Reflection
should place the experience into a broader context.
Evaluation - Evaluation measures the impact of
the students' learning experience and the effectiveness of the
service in the community. Students should evaluate their learning
experience and agencies should evaluate the effectiveness of the
students' service. Evaluation gives direction for improvement,
growth and change. Quality community service should challenge
students to educate themselves about the issues surrounding their
involvement, so they might better understand and work with
communities. Each effort must be designed with the intent of
creating long term solutions, while ensuring independence, mutual
education, dignity, and respect for all.