University of Vermont

Office of Community-University Partnerships & Service Learning

In-Course Supports

Jump to:  In-class Workshops  |  Implementation Grants  |  SLTAs

CUPS offers direct and indirect support and resources to help faculty implement their SL courses more effectively. Especially for faculty new to service-learning – or perhaps working on a new project or with new community partners – we can provide some of the background and context that will allow you to focus more directly on your discipline, learning goals, and outcomes.

In-Class Student Workshops

CUPS staff are available to visit SL courses to provide workshops for students. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the workshops listed below, or would like like to discuss a custom workshop for your course.

Workshop topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Introduction to Service-Learning Pedagogy
  • Transferable Skills
    Help students identify the personal and professional skills they've gained in their service-learning experience, and how to convey those skills in job searches and future professional settings.
  • Reciprocity and Community Partnerships
    Help students understand and define reciprocity in service-learning projects, and critically reflect on how they can contribute to piositive community partnerships.
  • Place-Based Learning
    Ground the SL project in unique local features and resources, the environment, art and culture, history and communities of the particular place in which students will be working.
  • Cultural Competency
    Prepare students for entering new communities appropriately, orienting them to some of Vermont's historically marginalized communities, and help them make sense of new cultural experiences.

Implementation Grants for Service-Learning Projects

CUPS provides small grants of up to $300 to support the service-learning project(s) in designated courses. Faculty may apply on behalf of students, or may ask students/student groups to apply as part of their professional development.

The course must have been designated as service-learning by the start of the semester. Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis during the semester. We encourage you to seek alternative funding sources first, and to develop a source of funding for your course in the long-term. Longer-term partnerships may also be eligible for CUPS Partnerships Grants.

Grants can cover materials, supplies or resources needed to complete the service-learning project. The emphasis is on supporting the students to fulfill the community partner's requested needs, so food for a reception at the end of the term is not, for example, an appropriate request. If students need specialized assistance to complete a project, we may be able to support some training for students. Transportation expenses for students can only be reimbursed if the cost is incurred by a faculty member.

Please contact CUPS Director Susan Munkres with any questions about your course needs and whether they qualify for grant funding. To apply for an implementation grant, fill out this document and send to, with "Implementation Grant Request" in the subject line.


Service-Learning TAs (SLTAs)

Click here to request a Service-Learning Teaching Assistant.

CUPS trains undergraduate Service-Learning Teaching Assistants (SLTAs) to work on the service-learning component of "SL" designated courses. SLTAs can receive academic credit or – depending on experience – a stipend for the TAship through the CUPS office.

In your course, SLTA responsibilities typically include facilitating aand/or assessing critical reflection and discussion, helping students to connect their service or community-engaged work to the learning goals of the course. They may also help recruit community partners, handle logistics related to work in the community, or assist with project management. For international SL courses, TAs will also travel with the students.

SLTAs are expected to attend weekly training sessions in the CUPS Office, concurrent with their TAship. We train SLTAs in the pedagogy and practice of service-learning, project design, facilitating reflection, assessing reflection, cross-cultural competency, theories of social change, project management, and more. Our office has trained nearly 200 SLTAs since the program began.

CUPS works with you to set up a successful TAship. We have matched faculty and SLTAs in the past based on experience and interest area, but the most effective TAs are typically students who have taken the course in a previous semester, and/or those with whom the faculty has an existing relationship.

For more information, you can read our FAQs, and Program Coordinator Tom Wilson can work with you to determine how an SLTA might assist in your course, as well as identify potential students to fill the role. The earlier we can start matching faculty with a TA the more likely we are to find a strong student for the role; please contact us early and often if you're interested. If you know you would like to work with a SLTA, please click the link above to fill out the request form.

Last modified October 18 2017 03:18 PM