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Service Learning for Academic Credit

As a CIS abroad participant on a service learning program, you will automatically be enrolled in our service learning course and earn credit that you can work to transfer back to your home college or university. This service learning course is a required part of the program and built into the overall program structure.

How is credit awarded?

All students will be enrolled in our online course entitled Global Community-Based Learning (4 U.S. credits), developed in collaboration with our school of record, Plymouth State University. Credit is awarded based on successful completion of service hours, the online modules, and a variety of assignments listed below.

Course Description:

Global, community-based learning combines community service outside the U.S. with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. In this interdisciplinary course, the student will collaborate with a community partner abroad to complete a signature service project that addresses a significant problem, issue, or question as identified by the local host community. Prerequisite: minimum GPA of 2.5.

Credits: 4 credits (Minimum of 140 service hours)

Download the Syllabus >>

Assignments:

  • Pre-program reflection paper
  • Three guided reflection papers
  • Summative reflection paper
  • Final creative deliverable (a video, presentation, blog, or similar deliverable (to be determined in advance in consultation with the instructor) which presents the outcomes/results of their service project to an external audience.

Credit Transfer:

There are two different ways in which this credit can be documented for transfer back to your home institution. Please see the details below and talk with your study abroad office, academic advisor, or career services office to see what will be needed in order to transfer your credit back to your home institution.

Option 1: CIS Abroad Grade Report (standard)
All service learning abroad programs include a CIS Abroad Grade Report. This grade report includes the student’s program information, course components and learning outcomes, number of service hours worked, and final letter grade earned. There is no additional fee for the CIS Abroad Grade Report.

Option 2: Plymouth State University Transcript (optional)
Should a student’s home institution require an official U.S. transcript (rather than a grade report*), students can request to obtain a transcript through CIS Abroad’s School of Record, Plymouth State University (PSU). To receive credit via PSU, students must have achieved Junior status prior to the start of the program (e.g. have earned a minimum of 60 credit hours), and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. There is an additional fee of $350 for students who wish to receive credit from Plymouth State University.

*What’s the difference between a grade report and a transcript?
A transcript is an official document, issued by an accredited college or university, that lists the course taken, credits earned, and grade earned. A grade report is an unofficial document that includes the same details, but is issued by CIS Abroad.

Plymouth State University, CIS Abroad’s accrediting partner, is a NEASC-accredited institution with more than 20 years of experience awarding experiential learning credit both domestically and internationally. Plymouth State University has been nationally recognized for its commitment to the environment and for innovative programs that are making an impact both regionally and globally.