Service-Learning and COVID-19

As of March 12, 2020, and for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, UCA students are asked to refrain from participating in in-person, community-based service experiences. While we have taken these measures to support the health of our community through social distancing, we acknowledge that this creates a disruption for service-learning classes, nonprofit community partners, and students with community-based service placements. Please find some recommendations for making adjustments to your campus-community engagement below.


Recommendations for Faculty and Students

Faculty members whose service-learning courses include direct service are asked to consider alternative types of service-learning:

  • Many service-learning courses include an indirect, research-based, or advocacy service-learning project. If your course includes direct service, consider ways in which students might engage in these other types of service-learning. Examples include
    • Research, assessment, or evaluation requested by a partner organization
    • Creating deliverables for a partner organization, such as digital media or social media content, print materials, or other information-sharing products
    • Creating virtual educational materials such as webinars or streaming a presentation or performance
  • Explore ways in which direct service could be offered virtually, such as offering services via video conferencing platforms or engaging in virtual service opportunities (examples and resources for finding virtual service opportunities are currently available at uca.edu/volunteer).
  • Consider opportunities to reflect on COVID-19, global health, the impact of pandemics on communities, and ways that community members can support one another while (and by) remaining socially distant.

Additional Resources for Faculty and Students


Recommendations for Nonprofit Community Partners

We understand that changes to the university’s instructional delivery method and policy for student community engagement impacts you, and we apologize for the inconvenience. Nonprofit community partners are encouraged to consider ways to continue to engage with our students virtually:
  • Continue to list your service experiences on GivePulse, with an emphasis on virtual or online opportunities, or services that can be completed remotely. See instructions for Listing a Virtual Service Opportunity
  • Virtual service opportunities include ways that volunteers can support your organization from home or online, such as
    • Writing cards, sending letters, or doing craft projects (such as making toys for shelter animals, knitting hats and scarves for homeless individuals, or making blankets for seniors)
    • Becoming social media ambassadors, hosting online fundraisers or donation drives, or raising awareness of your organization and related social issues through advocacy
    • Offering a skilled service that they can do remotely, such as web development, graphic design, writing/editing, or translation
    • Offering online delivery of services such as financial coaching, tutoring and mentoring, or even theater or musical performances
    • Recording theater or musical performances, audiobooks, or how-to videos
  • Consider asking individuals to pledge to volunteer at a future event or make a financial contribution to a specific need your organization has related to COVID-19 or disruptions to operations
  • Recognize your great volunteers on social media, or take some time to share stories of past service events to keep your volunteers engaged if they are unable to serve!

Additional Resources for Nonprofits


Contact Us

As always, please feel free to contact Dr. Lesley Graybeal, Director of Service-Learning and Volunteerism, at lgraybeal@uca.edu, for assistance and support as you make adjustments to your service-learning courses and service opportunities in the coming months. Thank you!