Community Service and Service Learning Offices

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Definitions and Scope

Service Learning or Community Service Offices of Schools

Service learning offices

Community engagement offices

What is service learning and should it have clear boundaries between academic study and work attachments / internship?

Size and Segments

Not just how many service learning offices, but also How many students from tertiary education institutions, in what disciplines who have to go through service learning; how many are part of curriculum, how many voluntary etc

Institute of Higher Learning

Secondary schools

Most schools don't even have a service learning office.

VIA coordinator typically takes on the role then gets transferred to another school. MOE wanted to employ a person for each SSO, to work with all the schools. MSF said no, so SUSS did the Singapore Sewrvice Leanring Symposium. Tan Chuan Jin - education should work more closley with social service.

Desired impact and objectives

Needs of service learning offices

Need overview of social causes and host organisations

Existing Resources

IHL's VWO engagement sessions, networking or festivals

NTU Local Community Engagement Office list of possible projects (see also this webpage)

Gaps and Their Causes

IHLs do their own VWO engagement and develop their own networks

Possible Solutions

Need to match students with host organisations

Existing Resources

Information on student skills and capabilitiues

Volunteer matching platforms (local)

Information on overseas volunteering opportunities & hosts

Gaps and Their Causes

VWOs may not know what kind of skills and expertise students can bring to the table, and only

Possible Solutions

Compile existing disciplines from across the IHLs and exemplars of projects that their students have done, so that VWOs may understand who to approach for what kind of projects

Need to ensure students acquire community leadership and engagement skills

Existing Resources

Temasek Poly's Leadership Programme - (LEAP)

National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI)

Gaps and Their Causes

School programmes open only to their own students?

NACLI open only to grassroots?

Possible Solutions

Need to structure meaningful volunteering projects so that students achieve learning outcomes and hosts achieve social impact

Existing Resources



Gaps and Their Causes

No clear connection between overseas and local initiatives

Some IHLs track student learning through surveys (Ngee Ann Poly)

Possible Solutions

Need to ensure service outcomes for host organisations or social impact for community

Existing Resources

NTU Community Engagement Initiatives (12 per year, up to $5k each, for community in South West, application window Jan-Mar & Jun-Aug)

NTU Community Research Fellowship (4 per year, up to $50k, NTU faculty will lead project, submission by 15 Jan)

SIT Community i-LEAP - faculty and students to apply their technology solutions to community issues

Gaps and Their Causes

Possible Solutions

Resource Directory


Ngee Ann Polytechnic - Office of Service Learning

Republic Polytechnic -

Temasek Polytechnic - Centre for Character and Leadership Education



NTU - Local Community Engagement Office

NUS Office of Student Affairs

NUS Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre

SIT - Student Life

SUSS Service-Learning

SMU Centre for Social Responsibility

Relevant Agencies

NYC Youth Corp

In-Depth Profile

Ngee Ann Poly - Office of Service-Learning



Tan Wan Chin, Deputy Head


Service Learing is their signature pedagogy. Every studetnt will have opportunity to experience servcie leanring at leats one academic module over 3 years with NP.

Module based, credit-bearing

Service-Learning Framework

-big hearted person, passionate learner, global-smart professional

-core curriculum is graded, co-curriculum is not graded

Run Dialogue in the Dark and students become interns there.

Bringle & Hacther 1995 (Bringle is their ocnsultant). Learning outcomes of service learning = academic learning, personal growth, and ...

Have to ensure that every student in whatever school have an opportunity to do service learning.

Key Initiatives

48 modeules therefore need 48 module leaders.

"Fundamentals in Academic Service-Learning Training" - how to design your course into a service learning experience. Some are for lecturers, others are for course chairs.

Moving to define service learning beyond the focus on underserved communities. How about working with that service learning? SUSS has the same issue.

hard for some to come on board, eg engineering. energy conservation.

They brought engineers to homes of low income families, hosted by Beyond Social Services.

The conversion is important...

Strategic Thrusts

Focus on these objectives: Passionate learning, global smart professional, big-hearted person

Learning beyond the classroom, and acquire employability skills through real world learning

Republic Poly

Scope of Service Learning
Schools / Clubs Capabilities Examples
Office of Student and Graduate Affairs
School of Applied Science Biomedical sciences, Biotechnology Batam- sports activities, health screening
School of Engineering Batam - engineering students helped in building of communal amenities
School of Hospitality Sunlove Marsiling SAC - culinary students prepare food with seniors
School of Infocomm
School of Management and Communication
School of Sports, Health and Leisure
School of Technology for the Arts Arts and Theatre Management, Game Design
Service-Learning Club

Temasek Polytechnic - Centre for Character and Leadership Education

Established in 1996


Position Name Email Tel
Director Raymond Teo Choo Hwee
Head Marie Chan
Section Head Joshua Liew
Senior Lecturer Adrena Chua

Strategic Thrusts

  1. Develop character and leadership curriculum, run programmes
  2. Consultancy, training and research in character and leadership programmes

Key Initiatives

Leadership Programme - "Leadership: Essential Attributes & Practice" (LEAP)

Signature Programmes - that cover team-based activities, experiential learning, sports, personality profiling, and other enrichment workshops.

Public Forums and Student Forums on Character & Leadership

NTU - Local Community Engagement Office


Position Name Email Tel
Executive Director Dr Toh Kian Lam +65 6592 2517
Deputy Director Alvin Lee +65 6904 1118
Senior Assistant Manager Shi Jin Chen, Iona +65 6904 1108

Strategic Thrusts

  1. Foster new community partnerships through networking and relationship building
  2. Create community impact through community-participatory research
  3. Provide education and enrichment for the community

Special focus on South West Community for projects.

Key Initiatives

Community Engagement Initiatives (12 per year, up to $5k each, for community in South West, application window Jan-Mar & Jun-Aug)

Community Research Fellowship (4 per year, up to $50k, NTU faculty will lead project, submission by 15 Jan)

SIT - Student Life


Conrad Ho, Senior Manager, Student Life

Strategic Thrusts

  1. Community outreach
  2. Leadership development

Underlying philosophy:

Trying to build culture of service in the students. Want to focus on applied learning and to benefit the community.

Voluntary, not requirement. 8 projects are in various SEA countries. There are also community service clubs. SIT-wide activities 70 clubs encouraged to do activities togather, some for bonidng but some can be with community partners.

TIE is a division that encourages students in enterprise skills.

What may be part of the curriculum, eg engineering students who work with healthcare provider as part of their final year project. [Do these get counted and documented by the office of service learning?]

Key Initiatives

Community i-LEAP - An initiative for SIT faculty and students to apply their technology solutions to community issues

email directly

SUSS - Service Learning Office and Community Engagement


Strategic Thrusts

Recent shift in focus and policy

Recently renamed office of service learning and community engagement. Not academic service learning. Students previously do 18-24 months partnership, local. Negotiate with NGOs what the scope of project is. Now, there is no 18-24 month requirement. Sometimes VWO just want 3 months.Very small minority continue for four years. Want the students to be able to scope and do something that they are passionate with. Received feedback from a quarter of the VWOs they work with that they didn't want students to work with them for so long.

Service learning is a graduating requirement. If it is an internship with non-profit or social enterprise, it counts towards the graduating requirement. Have to be approved by office of career requirement. Also allow overseas service learning. Also partner universities with service learning programmes or work attachments/ internships.

Also have curated projects that are staff driven. Community service learning, not academic service learning.

Key change: more international oriented, and also allow paid work. Break down the delineation between what is academic, what is servcie etc. Ideal student before is great at work attachment, academics, and service. Now, it can overlap.

Key Initiatives

Service Learning Symposium