Outline of the state of Minnesota

Community Service Education—Service Learning

Community Service Education—Service Learning

State law requires districts to implement community service education or service learning programs, or encourages and offers student incentives for participation (e.g., recognition programs or course credit).

Minnesota Statutes 120B.022 Elective Standard

Subd. 1b. State bilingual and multilingual seals.

(f) A school district or charter school may award community service credit to a student who demonstrates an intermediate high or advanced-low ACTFL level of functional proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a language other than English and who participates in community service activities that are integrated into the curriculum, involve the participation of teachers, and support biliteracy in the school or local community.

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Minnesota Statutes 124D.19 Community Education Programs; Advisory Council

Subdivision 1. Authorization. — Each school board may initiate a community education program in its district and provide for the general supervision of the program. Each board may, as it considers appropriate, employ community education staff to further the purposes of the community education program.

Subd. 9. Youth development plans. — A district advisory council may prepare a youth development plan. The council is encouraged to use the state guidelines when developing the local plan. The school board may approve the youth development plan.

Subd. 10. Youth service programs. (a) A school board may offer, as part of a community education program with a youth development program, a youth service program that provides young people with meaningful opportunities to become involved in their community, develop individual capabilities, make career connections, seek support networks and services, become active citizens, and address community needs through youth service. The board may award up to one credit, or the equivalent, toward graduation for a pupil who completes the youth service requirements of the district. The community education advisory council, after considering the results of the commissioner’s study under section 124D.50, subdivision 1, must design the program in cooperation with the district planning, evaluating and reporting committee and local organizations that train volunteers or need volunteers’ services.

(b) Programs must include:

(1) preliminary training for pupil volunteers conducted, when possible, by organizations experienced in such training;

(2) supervision of the pupil volunteers to ensure appropriate placement and adequate learning opportunity;

(3) sufficient opportunity, in a positive setting for human development, for pupil volunteers to develop general skills in preparation for employment, to enhance self-esteem and self-worth, and to give genuine service to their community;

(4) integration of academic learning with the service experience; and

(5) integration of youth community service with elementary and secondary curriculum.

(c) Youth service projects include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) human services for the elderly, including home care and related services;

(2) tutoring and mentoring;

(3) training for and providing emergency services;

(4) services at extended day programs;

(5) environmental services; and

(6) service-learning programs in which schools, including postsecondary schools, and employers work together with young people to provide them with meaningful opportunities for community service and with the academic and technical skills that employers require.

(d) A youth service project must have a community sponsor that may be a governmental unit or nonprofit organization. To assure that pupils provide additional services, each sponsor must assure that pupil services do not displace employees or reduce the workload of any employee.

(e) The commissioner shall assist districts in planning youth service programs, implementing programs, and developing recommendations for obtaining community sponsors.

Policy Type

Minnesota Statutes 124D.231 Full-service community schools

Subd. 2. Full-service community school program. (g) Each school site receiving funding under this section must establish at least two of the following types of programming: (5) community involvement:

(i) service and service-learning opportunities.

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Minnesota Statutes 124D.50 Service-learning and work-based learning curriculum and programs

Subdivision 1.  Service-learning and work-based learning programs study. The Governor’s Workforce Development Council must assist the commissioner in studying how to combine community service activities and service-learning with work-based learning programs.

Subd. 2.  Service-learning programs developed. The commissioner, in consultation with the commission, shall develop a service-learning program curriculum that includes a policy framework and strategies for youth community service and an infrastructure for mentoring youth. The commissioner shall include in the curriculum at least the following:

  • (1) youth community service strategies that enable young people to make significant contributions to the welfare of their community through such organizations as schools, colleges, government agencies, and community-based organizations or through individual efforts;
  • (2) mentoring strategies that enable young people to be matched with caring, responsible individuals who can encourage and guide the young people in their personal growth and development;
  • (3) guidelines, criteria, and procedures for community service programs that incorporate the results of the study in subdivision 1; and
  • (4) criteria for community service activities and service-learning.

Subd. 3.  Structuring programs according to grade or education level. The service-learning curriculum must accommodate students’ grade level or the last completed grade level of the participants not currently enrolled in school. Schools must provide at least the following:

  • (1) for students in grades 7 to 9, an opportunity to learn about service-learning activities and possible occupations;
  • (2) for students in grade 10, an opportunity to apply for service-learning under section 124D.19 subdivision 10, and youth apprenticeship programs; and
  • (3) for students in grades 11 and 12 and young people not currently enrolled in school, an opportunity to become involved in community service activities, participate in youth apprenticeship programs, and, depending upon the individual’s demonstrated abilities, complete high school or pursue postsecondary coursework.

Subd. 4. Programs following youth community service. (a) The Minnesota Commission on National and Community Service in cooperation with the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, the commissioner and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, shall provide for those participants who successfully complete youth community service under sections 124D.39 to 124D.44, the following:

  • (1) for those who have a high school diploma or its equivalent, an opportunity to participate in a youth apprenticeship program at a community or technical college; and
  • (2) for those who are postsecondary students, an opportunity to participate in an educational program that supplements postsecondary courses leading to a degree or a statewide credential of academic and occupational proficiency. (b) The Governor’s Workforce Development Council, in cooperation with the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, must establish a mechanism to transfer credit earned in a youth apprenticeship program between the technical colleges and other postsecondary institutions offering applied associate degrees.
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Site addresses service learning.

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