Service Learning - Sample Assignments

HUS 133 Child Maltreatment: Prevention, Investigation  and Treatment

The focus of the following service learning graded assignments is advocacy.


This paper will be written based on the five components of service learning.


  • Describe the process you implemented to investigate advocacy.
  • How were the advocacy needs identified?  Include the community partners.
  • List the web sites and any other sites that you used.

Preparation and Planning

  • Describe what you did to learn more about the advocacy issues.
  • Explain your planning activities.


  • Describe factually and specifically what you contributed to this advocacy service learning experience.
  • Describe what you might have done differently.


  • Explain what you learned about advocacy.
  • Explain what you learned about child maltreatment, including prevention and treatment as a result of this experience.
  • Explain what you observed and learned about yourself.


Locate the elected official that represents your district. Write the complete name and address on a 3x 5 index card and bring it to class.

3. Advocacy letter

Compose a letter to your elected official concerning the issues that you researched. Use the address of your elected official. You may locate sample letters as a learning tool. Please compose the letter in your own words. Include a brief explanation of the issue and why you think the issue is important.


Identify a 2012 New York State legislative advocacy issue. You may write about up to TWO issues.  State and explain the issue/s followed by the source. Please attach the page where you located the issue/s.  Explain how the inclusion of money for this issue/s in the NYS budget will benefit children, families and the broader society. Please use your textbook as a source.

Web Sites

Families Together in New York State Inc.
Winning Beginning New York
Prevent Child Abuse New York
Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Children’s Defense Fund


SOC 127  Interpersonal and Group Dynamics

1.SERVICE LEARNING EXPERIENCE  The following is a service learning packet that the students receive. It contains instructions for the group process.


Service Learning

“Service learning can be defined as a research-based teaching method where guided or classroom learning is applied through action that addresses an authentic community need in a process that allows for youth initiative and provides structured time for reflection on the service experience and demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge.” Berger Kaye,Cathryn, (2010) The Complete Guide to Service Learning Minnesota: Free Spirit Publishing Inc.

This service learning experience will occur for the entire semester and is designed to demonstrate application of the skills and objectives stated in the syllabus. One goal of this experience is designed to teach general interpersonal and group skills that are transferable to multiple professional and personal settings. Another goal of this experience is for the students to begin to learn and practice how to lead and participate in a group. 


 GROUP LEADER/MEMBERS: The leader for each group will be chosen in collaboration with the group and the professor. The leader is responsible for leading the meetings and functioning as the contact person. However, all the members of the group are expected to share the work equally. The individual grade of each member depends on his/her individual role.

  • Before the first meeting a leader will be chosen. The following is the criteria for being a group leader.
  • If the professor knows that a particular student in a group has the skills to be the group leader and he/she would enjoy leading, he/she will be the leader. If all of the members are unknown to the professor, the criteria listed below will be used to choose the group leader.
  • The leader must have completed 30 college credits.
  • The leader needs to possess the following: previous supervisory experience or group leadership experience, the ability to relate to a variety of personalities, conflict management skills, flexibility, organization, and the ability to multi-task.
  • The group will agree on the chosen group leader.
  • Arrive at the meeting prepared to lead. All members of the group will read Chapter 3- Leadership by Zastrow before you lead and participate in the first meeting. The purpose of this reading is to give each member a clearer understanding of what is involved in being an effective leader.
  • Be conscious of your communication style, both verbal and non-verbal as well as the communication style of the group.
  • Leader- Arrive prepared with techniques on how to motivate the group.  Arrive prepared with a specific plan how to begin, conduct and end the meeting.

GROUP SECRETARY: During each group session the role of secretary will be rotated so that every student assumes this role at least once.  The minutes will be recorded on a group reporting form and kept in the group folder, to be held by the leader.


MEETING ONE AND TWO:  The purpose of this meeting will be to become acquainted with each other, brainstorm ideas and begin to formulate the details of the service learning experience.

  • The professor will lead the group in this introductory session.
  • The members of the group will begin to plan how and who will INVESTIGATE and RESEARCH the specific needs of the organization they have chosen for their service learning experience. The professor will provide contact information if that information is known.
  •   When the experience is decided upon, create a title. Make the title “SNAPPY!!!”
  • Create a master list of names, phone numbers and e-mail. Give this list to the professor to be duplicated and distributed to the group.
  • Decide who will be the secretary for the next meeting. Each person will assume the role of secretary for a minimum of one meeting.


These meetings will include time for preparation and planning, action, reflection and planning for the group presentation.  Some of these meetings will occur during class time and some will occur outside of the regularly scheduled class time. 

As a group, choose a series of regular dates and times to meet. If an EMERGENCY situation arises, please notify the group leader BEFORE the meeting. The leader will keep the attendance for each meeting.

It is expected that when a member agrees to a time she/he will be responsible for participating in that meeting. Meetings that occur outside of the class time are to be recorded on the forms and kept in the official group folder.


Each group will deliver a 20-30 minute presentation. The presentation will include the information listed below and will be graded accordingly. Please incorporate power point, visuals such as pictures, and/or brochures or other ideas that will make the presentation INTERESTING and SNAPPY!!!


  • Introduce the members of the group.
  • State the name of the experience.


  • Identify the need that the experience addressed.
  • Discuss how you discovered, analyzed and researched the causes of this need. 
  • Discuss the findings of your research.
  • Explain how the lives of others improved because of this experience.
  • Each person will analyze and describe specifically what they learned from this experience.  Include what communication skills you learned and how  your communication skills improved.

GROUP PROCESS                      

  • Describe the composition of the members of the group in terms of ethnicities, communication styles and other topics from both books.
  • Describe the group process in terms of developing goals, interdependence, trust, communication, how conflict was managed, how decisions were made and other key processes of the group.
  • Discuss what the group might have done differently.
  • Each person will also state individually, what she/he may have done differently.

NOTE: Each person will receive 50 points for their individual presentation.


PART ONE: (1-2 pages) Use of Self section     20 points

A. Self Section: 1-2 pages Within this section you will write about your participation in the group. Include:

  • Describe your verbal and non-verbal communication style and what you learned about yourself.
  • Describe specifically what verbal and non-verbal communication skills you learned. What skills improved? What skills do you need to improve?
  • Describe your leadership style and what you learned about your leadership style.
  • Describe how your skills, personality, learning style, etc. affect the group?

B. Self-Evaluation 1-2 pages 35 points -These points will be awarded based on your individual contributions to the group, both in terms of resources and functioning of the group.

  • Describe factually and specifically what you contributed to the group
  • Describe what you might have done differently in the group.

(i.e. how could you have improved the functioning of the group? How could you have made this project more successful?)

PART TWO: (1-2 pages) Group Process section: 15 points

Group Process: Write this section from YOUR point of view and not that of your team members. Include:

  • Describe your specific role in the development of the following processes and what you contributed:  developing goals, interdependence, trust, managing conflicts, the decision making process and other key processes utilized by the group. How would you improve your skills in any of the above areas?


Answer the following questions. Each report is worth 20 points

  • Describe your particular task.  Include the details.
  • Describe how YOU accomplished this task. To whom did you communicate? What was the style of the communication? What was the reaction of others to your communication? What could you have done specifically to improve your communication? Include the details.
  • Include the dates by which each task is to be completed and whether it was accomplished on time.
  • Describe why or why not your task was or was not accomplished on time.


  1. Length: 1 page
  2. Type this report and double space
  3. Font:  12 CPI and one inch margins

Note: One of the key components of your grade for this report is how you communicate, whether your task was completed on time and in the manner that you promised the group.


Read All About It!

Interested in possibly applying to SCCC? See our Viewbook. Want to know more about academics and being a student? Try our Catalog. These publications and more are on our Publications Page.