Service-Learning and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last updated 8/14/2020.

CCELL understands the unique circumstances our service-learning faculty, students, and community partners are experiencing amidst the rapid changes COVID-19 has brought upon daily life. We recognize that transitioning to online instruction, online coursework, and/or virtual service while also prioritizing your own and your loved ones’ health and safety will be a challenge. The CCELL team is here to make the transition as comfortable and convenient as possible. We’ve also collected some of your most frequently asked questions and provided answers below.

e-Service-Learning Resources 

Frequently Asked Questions

My community partner remains open – it is okay for students to continue doing direct service?
As of Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the answer is yes, as long as the community partner is okay with it, the student wants to and is able to, and everyone abides by current state/federal social distancing guidelines. Because this can/might change so rapidly, however, it is best to advise students on a backup plan or to have a backup plan in place. See our current service guidelines and our report on e-service-learning for tips and guidance.

I will be teaching online – can I still use S-L pedagogy?
Absolutely. See our current service guidelines and our report on e-service-learning for tips and guidance.

My question isn’t here/I’m confused.
Contact our Director, Dr. Sarah Becker ( for support and answers.

I’m graduating this semester - can I still get the Engaged Citizens Distinction?
Yes, we will be working to make sure that students can complete the ECP as smoothly as possible. We have altered program requirements for Summer and Fall 2020 graduates to ease their completion of ECP requirements in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Please check your email regularly for updates and contact us via email at, if you have a need or a question.

I don’t have all 100 hours of community service yet, what can I do?
If you are graduating in Summer or Fall 2020, we have reduced your hour requirement to adjust for the time you need to devote to adjusting to the changes to daily life COVID-19 has created. Please check your email for a message from us or email Program Coordinator Grace Moody ( to check in. If you are not a 2020 grad, don’t worry – you have time.

I service contracted a course this semester and I can’t complete my service, what can I do?
We are helping students alter their contracts on a case-by-case basis. If you have not emailed Program Manager Taylor Armer (  already, please do so. We have modifications we can make to ease your workload and/or to find you ways to serve from home.

I am doing service currently, is it okay for me to continue going?
For now, students may continue doing service as long as their community partner allows it and you work within current federal and state social distancing guidelines. This could change at any time, though, so having a backup plan and/or communicating with us is a good idea.

I feel safest staying at home – can I do service remotely?
If you want to get some hours done while practicing social or physical distancing or in self-quarantine, email us. We have simple ideas for how you can serve others while also protecting your own and your loved ones’ health.

My community partner closed – what should I do?
Reach out to us to troubleshoot your situation. We are here to advocate for you and to help keep things as simple as possible in this time of crisis.

My question isn’t here/I’m confused.
Contact our coordinator, Grace Moody ( for more information.

We are no longer accepting face-to-face volunteers at our site. What should we do?
You probably already have, but an email or phone call to your campus partner (e.g., faculty member or student organization) is all that’s necessary. No need to add extra work to your to-do list at such a difficult time when you are already likely stretched thin. 

We have virtual needs – are there volunteers available to work from home?
CCELL is collecting names of organizations who have work-from-home volunteer opportunities and will work to link them up with people who would like to do service in this time of crisis. Please email us with your needs and/or opportunities to get involved in ways that abide by current state/federal social distancing guidelines. 

My question isn’t here/I’m confused.
Contact CCELL at for information.


Click to view and download the resources linked above.

Course-Specific Service-Learning Assignment

E-Service-Learning Report: Best Practices, Pitfalls to Avoid, and Recommendations



Service, Service-Learning, and Community Engagement Guidelines