Service Learning Archives - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Service Learning

“Belonging to a Community Requires Commitment to the Common Good.”

– IMSA Belief Statement

Service Learning provides students with an opportunity to learn about community organizations, the working world, and their role as contributing volunteers.

Service learning can be defined as a teaching method where guided or classroom learning is deepened through service to others in a process that provides structured time for reflection on the service experience and demonstration of the skills and knowledge acquired.

Students will:

  • apply academic, social and personal skills to improve their community
  • make decisions that have real, not hypothetical results
  • grow as individuals, gain respect for peers, and increase civic participation
  • gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their community and society
  • develop as leaders who take initiative, solve problems, work as a team, and demonstrate their abilities while and through helping others

For questions, email us:  commserv@imsa.edu

Graduation Requirement

The graduation requirement is two hundred (200) hours of community service. These hours should be completed prior to spring break of senior year. This also includes frequently asked questions concerning service learning.

  • Thirty (30) hours must be completed on the IMSA campus.
  • One hundred and twenty-five (125) of the 200 required service hours may be completed on-campus.
  • Fifty (50) hours of the 200 required hours may be completed out of the state/country.
  • One hundred (100) hours must be completed by the end of the student’s 3rd semester at IMSA.

Service Learning Goals

  1. Student will self select service learning opportunities that reflect personalization in their learning.
  2. Student will develop skill sets through engagement in service learning.
  3. Student will demonstrate an increased engagement in service activities.
  4. Student will perceive the connection between civic mindedness and their actions and decisions.
  5. Student will gain awareness of how their actions impact a larger societal context.

The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) 2012

  • Allow all participants to define their needs and interests.
  • Engage students in responsible and purposeful actions to meet community-defined needs.
  • Enable students to understand needs in the context of community assets.
  • Articulate clear service and learning goals for everyone involved, including students, faculty and staff members. Ensure intellectual rigor.
  • Engage students in reflection designed to enable them to deepen their understanding of themselves and the community.
  • Educate students to differentiate between perpetuating dependence and building capacity within the community.
  • Establish mechanisms to assess service and learning outcomes for students and communities.

Service Learning – Documentation Process

Student service must follow the guidelines below in order to be counted toward their graduation requirement:

  • Service must be for a non-profit organization.
  • Students may not receive payment, class credit, or internship credit for their work.
  • The supervisor may not be a member of the student’s immediate family.

Once a student has found a Service Learning opportunity, the process is as follows:

  1. The student should schedule specific dates and times with the agency and get their supervisor’s direct email.
  2. After concluding the service, students must submit their hours through the HelperHelper app.
  3. The hours will be validated by the site supervisor and the Service Learning Coordinator through the HelperHelper app.
  4. Once the hours are validated, they will be reflected in the HelperHelper app, and on the student’s PowerSchool page. This process usually takes up to a week after the initial submission.

IMSA has moved to a paperless evaluation system through the “HelperHelper” App. This App allows students reflect on their service learning experience, and allow their supervisors to validate their attendance all in one place. To download the app, click the appropriate links below for your mobile device: