Service Learning

The Service Learning program is designed to promote and foster student engagement by connecting students to communities through a required service experience.

Student Resources

As part of Northland’s graduation requirements, students must complete eight (8) hours of community Service Learning. Students can select the type of community service and approved activities from the list of approved community partners.

After completing eight (8) hours of community Service Learning, students are required to submit a paper to their instructor, which includes a reflection of their experience.

Am I required to complete service learning?

Students pursuing an Associate level degree must complete eight (8) hours of service learning in the form of service to the community in order to be eligible for graduation.

Exceptions to the requirement include:

  • Students who have earned Northland credits prior to Fall 2017
  • Students who are active or have completed military service
  • Students who are eligible for reverse transfer
  • Students who are transferring an officially transcripted service learning course in from an accredited college or university
  • Transfer students who (at the time of enrollment at Northland) need less than 24 credits to earn their Northland Associate degree
  • Students who will graduate from an Associate level program while enrolled as a PSEO student
  • Students enrolled in employer sponsored programs (Polaris Manufacturing, Digi-Key U, etc.)

If a student qualifies for one of these exemptions, the Service Learning Exemption Waiver form must be completed and submitted to the Registrar.

Exempt Programs

The following programs are exempt from the service learning requirement, as the experience has been embedded into a course within the program.

  • Occupational Therapy Assistant (A.A.S.)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (A.A.S.)
  • Nursing (A.S.)
  • Sales, Marketing, and Management (A.A.S.)
  • Surgical Technology (A.A.S.)

How do I get started?

1. Register for course

Students will need to self-register in eServices for CRLT 0100, Service Learning for their respective campus during the term in which they plan to complete the requirement.

2. Choose a Service Agency

Students will identify a service agency or agencies from the list of Current Service Opportunities. The student will communicate with the agency contact to schedule a service learning activity. Students need to complete eight hours of service learning; these hours need not be consecutive. In addition, students are able to provide service at multiple service agencies.

Students are encouraged to wear an Northland Service Learning name badge while performing the activity. These are located at the front desk on each campus, and are to be returned upon completion of the service learning activity.

3. Service Verification

Upon completion of the service learning activity, students will have the service agency contact sign off on the Service Verification Form.

This form is located within the Service Learning course in D2L.

4. Complete Reflection Paper

Students need to complete a Reflection Paper on the Service Learning experience.

This form is located within the Service Learning course in D2L.

5. Submit Assignment

The Service Verification Form along with the Reflection Paper needs to be submitted within the Assignment Submission folder within the service learning course CRLT 0100, Service Learning in D2L BrightSpace.

IMPORTANT: The Service Verification Form and the Reflection Paper Form must be submitted 60 days prior to graduation to allow for processing. If a student has been given prior approval to work with a service agency that is not on the approved list, he/she must upload the approval email from the Service Learning coordinator.

For students who plan to volunteer at an agency that is not on the list of approved community partners, prior approval is required. To receive prior approval, email In the email, include the name of the agency, the agency contact information, and a brief description of the volunteer activity.

6. Grading

Once the faculty evaluator has reviewed and approved the Service Verification Form and Reflection Paper, the grade “P” will be entered into the service learning course CRLT 0100, Service Learning in D2L BrightSpace. This will update the student’s transcript and DARS report marking the graduation requirement complete.

Students who do not receive a passing score will be asked to submit a new reflection paper and/or add to their service learning activity. If a student does not complete the experience in the term they registered for it, the non-credit course will be dropped by the Registrar’s Office.

Students who do not complete the service learning activity and/or have an approved exemption on file will not meet the graduation requirements.

Documents & Forms


Students should contact their advisor with any questions. Please refer to the Academic Program List With Assigned Advisors for the listing of program-specific advisors.