University of Vermont

Office of Community-University Partnerships & Service Learning

Additional Resources

Jump to:  Entering Diverse Communities  |  Working with Refugees  |  Risk Management  |  Transportation

In addition to the resources outlined below, CUPS maintains a Service-Learning Resource Library that faculty may find useful as they create their syllabi and implement SL into their courses. Click the link above to view our resources online, or peruse them in person in our office, Harris-Millis 109.

Preparing Students to Enter Diverse Vermont Communities

This list contains resources that might be helpful for students who will working with diverse Vermont populations as part of their service-learning project(s).  It is also open for additions!  Please share resources that you have found effective in helping students recognize the current and historical contexts that have shaped the experience of various Vermont communities.

Annotated List of Resources for Preparing Students to Enter Diverse Vermont Communities

Resources & Ethical Considerations in Working with Refugees

Burlington is a designated Refugee Resettlement Community, and we find that many UVM students are interested in working with, or conducting research on, refugee populations in the area. Our students are rightly concerned and eager to engage; we want to support them in doing so. Those of us engaged in service-learning and community-engaged research recognize that the needs of our students for learning, growth and development must be considered in the broader context of the needs of our community. We want our students to be as fully prepared as they can before working with vulnerable populations and within overtaxed organizations.

This document lays out some of the considerations faculty should take when advising students interested in working with these populations, and lays out some resources that both faculty and students might find useful. We would also be happy to discuss these issues in greater detail; please don't hesitate to contact us.

Ethical Considerations in Advising Students Interested in Working with Refugees

Risk Management

As with any form of experiential learning in which students leave campus, service-learning can entail different risks than classroom learning. Faculty should consider the specific risks involved in academic service-learning, and respond appropriately in course and project design. This information supplements information from UVM's department of Risk Management, which may also be useful.

Guiding Principles of Risk Management for Academic Service-Learning
  • Provide an orientation to students that includes an overview of service-learning and the policies, expectations and guidelines involved in the specific service activities, projects or research in which they will be engaging.
  • Discuss the syllabus and/or assignments with students so that they fully understand their responsibilities, partners' expectations, the learning objectives, and the context for the service, project or research. Written agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs) are strongly encouraged.
  • Conduct visits, if appropriate, with service sites to ensure safety and suitability.
  • Collect students' emergency contact information, and familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures in the site, if appropriate.
Ways We Can Help

As with any topic, CUPS staff are happy to consult on risk management practices in your particular course.

Our Resource Library has many publications highlighting the range of academic service-learning, with examples and materials from many disciplines.

SL-TAs can be requested in advance. These teaching assistants can help manage the service-learning project, conduct site visits, orient students to service sites, gather emergency contact information if appropriate, and/or function as a liaison to a community partner.


For more extensive information, please review the Department of Risk Management & Safety's “Field Trip Guidelines”. The Vehicle Safety section of their website is also an indispensable resource for transportation risk management information.

Best Transportation Practices — Bus and University-Owned Vehicles

Use of personal vehicles is discouraged. Ideally, students will travel by bus or in University-owned or leased behicles. CCTA buses are free for UVM students. University-owned vehicles are available in some departments.

The Student Government Association rents six 12-passenger vans and a pick-up truck. Academic departments can reserve them 10 days in advance of the rental and student groups can reserve up to 4 weeks ahead, meaning SGA vehicles have extremely limited availability on weekends. During the summer and mid-week, however, they become more available. SGA vans cost $90/day (each) and are parked at the Gutterson Parking Garage. This includes insurance through the University. If anything were to happen, it would be covered except for a deductible, for which the renting department is responsible. Vans come with a full tank of gas, and renters are responsible for returning them full. Contact Sara Gabaree in SGA to reserve one of their vehicles van.

Drivers of University-owned vans must be certified through the driver safety program offered by Risk Management. Note that this includes a driving background check through the DMV (which can take up to 10 days) and a 2-hour driver safety lesson. For more information, see their Driver Safety Program webpage.

Renting Vehicles

If University-owned vehicles are not available, vans or cars may be rented. UVM maintains a rental agreement with Hertz. Travelers should visit the Hertz Direct Booking Tool at: or call the local Shelburne Road Office: (802) 859-3601. The UVM corporate discount number is 1814044. Those renting vehicles should review UVM's policies concerning auto rental.

Use of Personal Vehicles

Student driving is also discouraged. If students or faculty must drive personal vehicles, they must show proof of a valid driver's license, insurance and sign the alternative transportation waiver. When students are travelling on their own for service-learning and community projects, it is best to arrange a university vehicle. But if that is not feasible, collect all drivers' liscense and insurance information, and have them all sign the waivers. NOTE: Those driving personal vehicles will not be covered by UVM's insurance policy in case of an accident.


Review the appropriate UVM policies for auto rental and use of University-owned vehicles. These are quite specific; consider bringing a copy of the policy with you.

Last modified June 01 2017 04:43 PM