Miami Dade College Homepage > Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy > Students

Student FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Service-Learning?
How do I get started with my service-learning project?
Where do I select a place to complete my hours?
What is an "approved site"?
What if want to serve at a site that is not an "approved site"?
How can I switch the agency that I selected?
Why do I have to serve with a non-profit organization?
Can I complete my hours at a church or other place of worship?
Can I serve at multiple places?
Can I use my hours for more than one course?
Can I use hours that I have already completed?
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
What if I don't have time?
I'm under 18, are there any special forms I need to complete?
Do I need a background check or fingerprints?
What are the benefits of service-learning?
How do I register for service-learning?
Can I receive emails about service opportunities?
How can I get my service-learning transcript, which is a summary of all my service-learning hours and projects?

What is service-learning?
Service-learning is the combination of community service and classroom instruction, with a focus on critical, reflective thinking as well as personal and civic responsibility. In other words, service-learning is an assignment your professor gives you in which you will help the community and at the same time gain a better understanding of the course material; like hands-on training. 

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How do I get started with my service-learning project?
Your professor will provide the guidelines for your service-learning project. (S)he will explain what you are expected to do, the number of hours required, and the agency or agencies where you will complete your project. If your professor does not assign an agency, you may look for one using the search engine on our website (http://www.mdc.edu/serve). Once you have that information, the next step is to register on the service-learning website following the web-based instructions.

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Where do I select a place to complete my hours?
The service-learning program has a partnership with more than 200 local non-profit agencies in order to offer students a variety of organizations where you can complete your project. The following link, www.mdc.edu/serve will take you to a community partner search engine which will help you find the appropriate agency for your project.

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What is an "approved site"?
An approved agency is an agency listed on our Agency Placement List, on a rare occasion an organization may be approved by the Center for Community Involvement and/or your professor.

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What if want to serve at a site that is not an "approved site"?
The site must be a registered nonprofit organization, and you cannot be paid for the time you will be serving there. If it fits this description, you will follow the regular registration process, and for the part where you select the agency, you'll click the box to the right that says 'agency/school not on list". After submitting, you'll print the Site Approval Form with the other paperwork and submit it before completing any hours.

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How can I switch the agency I selected?
You can change the agency you selected by logging in to your application and selecting the button at the bottom of the page that says; "Change Worksite in a Pending Application."

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Why do I have to serve with a non-profit organization?
One of the goals of service-learning is to meet community needs; non-profit agencies often need our help the most since profit is not their main goal and the services they provide are free of charge. These are the agencies working for the betterment of our communities!

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Can I complete my hours with my house of worship? 
The first attempt would be to choose an agency from our list. On rare occasions, the Center for Community Involvement or your professor might approve a placement with a house of worship if the project involves course-related service to the community (you cannot teach religious school since you are getting academic credit).

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Can I serve at multiple places? 
Yes. You’ll just need to register separately for each agency you plan to work with.

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Can I use my hours for more than one course (double-dipping)?
Double-dipping only applies to courses in which your service-learning project is relevant to both.  You will need to check with each professor to see if they allow double-dipping, and register and fill our paperwork for each class separately.
Education classes are the exception, there’s no double-dipping for EDF1005 and EDF2085. If you are taking these classes during the same semester, you must complete a minimum of 15 hours for each class, or a total of 30 hours.

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Can I use hours that I have already completed?

No. Your hours must be completed during the same semester in which you are taking the course.

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What if I have a question?

You may contact any of our campus offices.

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What if I don’t have time? 
At first, the idea of completing service-learning may seem overwhelming.  However, the community sites are typically extremely flexible, and most are willing to make accommodations to fit your schedule.  Starting early is key – give yourself every opportunity to work in your service hours, even if it is only one hour a week over the course of the semester.  Weekend and evening opportunities are available, and including your family in the service is an option with some agencies. Service-learning can sometimes replace another class assignment that may take even more time to do. 

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I’m under 18, are there any special forms I need to complete?

Yes. During the online service-learning registration process, you will be asked if you are under the age of 18. If you are, you will need to check the box indicating that you are less than 18 years old. Students must print out a “Parental Consent Form,” which is found with the rest of the service-learning documents during the online service-learning registration.

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Do I need a background check or fingerprints?
Students completing a service-learning project at a Miami-Dade County Public School must complete a background check. The application instructions may be found by clicking the link to the left that says “Student Resources” and finding the “Education Major Resources”.
Education students must complete a background check process, which is done online. A copy of the School of Education Fingerprinting Packets is on the Service-Learning Tab under “Education Students”.
Other organizations may require you to get a background check before working with them.  The agency should provide you with more information about their process for background checks.

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What are the benefits of service-learning?
There are many benefits of completing a service-learning project. Below is a list of some of the most relevant benefits:

  • Enhance learning in course
  • Explore professional fields of interest
  • Use service-learning as a networking tool
  • Make a difference in the community
  • Enhance your resume
  • Obtain employment
  • Receive a personalized certificate and letter
  • Earn job offers, awards or scholarships
  • Improve self esteem
  • Make friends
  • Have fun
  • Challenge yourself
  • Work with people different from yourself
  • Become better informed about community

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How do I register for service-learning?
Service-Learning registration is done online through this website.  Click the link on the Student Homepage that says “Register”. 


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Can I receive emails about service opportunities?

Yes. During your online service-learning registration process you will have the option to receive e-mails regarding service-learning opportunities and events. Contact the CCI office at your campus if you’re interested in learning more about current opportunities (see above).


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How can I get my service-learning transcript, which is a summary of all my service-learning hours and projects?

You may request a service-learning transcript at any of our offices on campus (see above).

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.