In addition to classroom projects, students may also complete approved service-learning projects outside of school. In order to complete an independent project, students should take the following steps:
1. Choosing a project: The service site supervisor must agree to provide preparation/orientation and reflection activities for students. The student should utilize the Seven Best Practices of Service-Learning to determine if a project meets the guidelines. Service-learning coordinators may assist with identifying appropriate preparation and reflection activities.
2. Gaining approval: Students are to complete the Independent Service-Learning Activity Pre-Approval Form available at the local school. This form ensures that the completed project will count toward service-learning hour and that parent/guardian approval is provided.
3. Preparing: The service site supervisor is required to provide the student with a structured preparation/orientation time to ensure the student fully understands the purpose and/or mission of the organization and how their service will address a community need.
4. Acting on service: Some service projects are short term while others are long term. The service site supervisor is responsible for tracking and verifying the hours earned throughout the project.
5. Reflecting on service: Students must the complete the reflection questions on the Hours Verification and Reflection Form or other school approved written reflection. Service-learning coordinators may provide additional suggestions for appropriate reflection activities.
6. Tracking hours: When all completed forms are brought to the service-learning coordinator, the hours will be recorded and the final paperwork will be returned to the student for their records. All students are encouraged to keep a file at home of their service-learning projects.