Service Learning Placements

The HFD Service Learning component is HFD 498. This is a service learning experience in which you set and achieve learning goals in addition to providing service in the community. In addition to sites listed on this page, students may propose other service learning sites to the HFD faculty. For example, there are several retirement centers, as well as day care and preschool sites which are not listed but which may be appropriate. Contact your Human and Family Development Minor Committee Advisor for more information.


Rebecca Hamler
I worked for nine weeks at Clark Fork School as summer camp counselor. This was one of the best educational opportunities I have had as a college student. I gained hands on experience working with five to fourteen children ranging from three to seven years of age. Weekly filed trips to art museums, rivers, parks, theatres, and hiking the "M" prepared me for just about anything! I enjoyed meeting the incredible staff, parents, and students at Clark Fork and gained a new appreciation for the outdoors in beautiful Missoula MT.

This internship helped me accomplish my goals while earning credit, and provided me with some very entertaining stories. I would recommend being a part of this internship process through the HFD department because it is wildly diverse. The possibilities are endless!

Rebecca Hamler, HFD Minor


While the Human and Family Development Minor requires a minimum of 2 credits of service learning work (roughly equivalent to 90 hours of work over a 15-week semester), note that some sites require longer commitments, up to two semesters.

The best place to start is at UM Internship Services (DHC, Garden Level, Suite 02), get/print a Learning Agreement form. The Online Learning Agreement (OLA) allows student interns, faculty, and employers to be connected in an organized and efficient manner. Through the OLA, everyone involved is able to see and approve the details of an internship including associated learning objectives and job descriptions. The OLA highlights the educational nature of the internship experience. This system also enables faculty to view evaluations completed by the student and the supervisor at the conclusion of the internship for assessment purposes. It is the student's responsibility to complete the OLA and to register for the academic credit in a timely manner. Ideally, this paperwork should be submitted well in advance of the internship's start date.

The procedure for enrolling in HFD 498 and the Service Learning project:

  1. Identify a service learning position that you are interested in. You may use the HFD list of service learning placements or identify an agency and position that is not listed, but fit with your interests and goals. The position can be volunteer or paid.
  2. You may earn a maximum of 6 credits towards graduation for all courses numbered x98. You may enroll in more than one of these, but once you have earned a total of 6 credits, no other credits will count towards graduation. The rule of thumb is that 45 hours per semester = one credit.
  3. Contact an HFD Committee faculty member who you would like to serve as an academic advisor for the internship.
  4. Contact the agency that offers the position and determine whether you may volunteer or work there and whether there is a supervisor on site who will complete necessary paperwork and supervise your work.
  5. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss the job description and your learning objectives (you will need to identify these for the online learning agreement. You will also need to have your academic advisor sign a course over-ride slip (an online process completed by the advisor HFD 498 instructor) in order to officially register.
  6. Print and review the Online Learning Agreement Worksheet (PDF).
    • Log on to your Handshake account using the gray box to the left and your NetID.
    • Once you are signed in to your account, click the “Report an Internship Hire” link on the left side of the screen.
    • Select the grey “Other” tab near the bottom of the page after selecting the correct academic term from the drop down. 
    • Fill in the "Organization Name" and "Job Title" fields then press "Save."
    • Complete the rest of the Online Learning Agreement fields using the worksheet.
    • You can cut/paste your Job Description and Learning Objectives from another document or upload them directly into the “Internship Document” area.
    • Select “Finish” when you are done. If you need to make changes to your agreement, please contact our office instead of resubmitting the entire form.

Details of supervision are to be worked out between the faculty supervisor and the student, although it is assumed that there will be an on-site supervisor and that the student will meet periodically with the faculty supervisor to report progress and to discuss relevant issues.  Students will be responsible to:

  1. Work at your internship site as determined by your academic supervisor and on-site supervisor.
  2. Participate in discussions and classroom exercises with other service learning students. This seminar currently meets in an online forum through Moodle. Towards the end of the semester, students will meet together to give brief presentations about their service learning experience.
  3. Keep track of your hours (45 hours = 1 credit hour; electronic log is preferred). Activities that count towards your hours are as follows:
    1. Time spent at the internship site working
    2. Time spent attending the online Moodle class (approx. 1 hour a week).
    3. Time spent journaling
    4. Time spent researching and writing your 10 page literature review
    5. Time spent preparing and attending your end of semester presentation about your service learning experience
  4. Keep a Reflective Journal (electronic journal is preferred). Reflection is considered a key component of service learning. The journal can be maintained electronically or handwritten. Enter a weekly reflection of your experience, about 200 words, give or take.
  5. Write a 10 page literature review. The topic must be approved by your HFD academic advisor. The topic should be related to your service learning experience and your own “theme” recorded on your Plan of Study form (i.e., it should reflect a topic related to your academic and career goals).  Follow APA formatting guidelines.
  6. Submit your literature review, journal, and hours at the end of the semester.
  7. Your internship supervisor will complete necessary forms at the end of your internship.