Request the S-Designation

S-Designation Courses

On May 30, 2007, the Council on Academic Affairs approved the proposal for policies and procedures for listing service-learning courses with an “S” suffix.  This addition makes it easier for students to locate service-learning courses and provides standards for course design across the university.  Due to several administrative changes to the course systems over the past few years, there are still many service-learning courses that do not carry the S-suffix.  To help students identify and faculty to promote service-learning courses, we are currently working with administration and faculty to ensure that the bulk of service-learning offerings get the S-designation.

Why should I apply for the S-designation?

If you plan to develop or already have an existing course that will be taught as a Service-Learning course, you should consider applying for the S-Designation. The S-Designation has many advantages for a course, including:

  • Making your classes more visible to students who are interested in service and search for S in the course catalog
  • Allowing us to promote your classes along with the other Service-Learning courses on our web site and through other channels
  • Having the opportunity for the course to be approved as a General Education Open Option course

All of these further widens your potential to reach out to students who are interested in service, but do not have a class in their discipline that offers it. It’s also a good way to attract new students to your department.

Please note: we are in the process of updating the information below regarding service-learning courses in the new General Education structure.  New information will be available soon.

There are two versions of the S-Designation available to approved courses:

S          This simply adds an “s” as a suffix to a new or existing course that meets the requirements outlined in the Checklist for Developing Service-Learning Courses.

S+GE     In addition to the S-designation, a Service-Learning course can be counted as a General Education (GE) Open Option if it is approved to also fulfill the following Expected Learning Outcomes (ELOs):

Students gain and apply academic knowledge through civic engagement with communities.

1. Students make connections between concepts and skills learned in an academic setting and community-based work.

2. Students demonstrate an understanding of the issues, resources, assets, and cultures of the community in which they are working.

3. Students evaluate the impacts of the service learning activity.

For more information on the S+GE, please refer to the S+GE workshop presentation or quick guide and FAQ. If you need more information, please contact the Office of Service-Learning.

Process for Requesting the S-Designation or S+GE Open Option Designation

To request the s-designation for your course, please fill out the linked form and submit it to the Office of Service-Learning.

S-Designation Request Form

S-Designation Rubric

S+GE Request Form and Rubric

In addition to completing the form above, please ensure that you have requested an s-designation through the process on For guidance on this process, please contact us at