Do’s and Don’ts of Service-Learning

Below is a list of do’s and don’ts appropriate for service-learning assignments. Your instructor and/or your community partner might have additional guidelines or rules, so be sure to know what they are and adhere to them.


  • Determine the location of site, where to park, and where to enter before first visit to site
  • Know who will be providing initial on-site orientation and ask for this orientation (site rules, etc.) when you arrive for your first visit.
  • Follow any and all sign-in procedures of the site every time you visit.
  • Educate yourself about the agency and population it serves.
  • Know your site supervisor and his or her role
  • Become familiar with the layout of the site, such as location of office, restrooms, etc.
  • Dress comfortable, neatly and appropriately. (if your agency has a dress code, follow it)
  • Arrive and leave on time. (call/email if you will be late or absent)
  • If you are working regularly with a small number of clients (such as tutoring), explain to them how frequently you will visit and how long your service will last.
  • Be kind, courteous and helpful.
  • Try to be flexible.
  • Respect the privacy and boundaries of clients. (Don’t ask questions that are too personal; be cautious when displaying affection.)
  • Respect the confidentiality of everyone you work with.
  • Ask for help when you’re in doubt.
  • Act as if you are a guest in someone else’s home and learn their rules and traditions.
  • Represent Keene State College appropriately.


  • Offer your home as a shelter to clients.
  • Give your phone number or address to clients.
  • Leave your personal belongings where others may be tempted to take them.
  • Wear excessive or expensive jewelry.
  • Exchange money or gifts with a client.
  • Talk to or tolerate verbal or non-verbal exchanges or a sexual nature (or  that might be perceived as sexual with a client.)
  • Five a client a ride in a personal vehicle.
  • Report to your service site under the influence of drugs and alcohol.


 Adapted from the LSU Service-Learning Student Partner Handbook

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