North Seattle Community College
Embracing a Complex Future, Winter 2011
Service Learning Assignment (2 credits)
Margot Boyer and Jane Lister Reis


The aim of the additional two-credit service learning component of our class is to provide you with an excellent opportunity to explore and apply the leadership theories and practices we are learning about and discussing in this class.  To successfully complete the two-credit course, you will need to:

1)  engage as a volunteer in an organization in the community (a minimum of 20 hours) (20 points);

2)   maintain and keep weekly notes of your community volunteer experience (20 points);

3)   read the assigned writings from Paul Loebís book, The Impossible Will Take A Little While (Basic
      Books, 2004) (20 points);

4)  complete a paper reflecting on your volunteer community experience from the perspective of the
      leadership theories covered in this class and the additional assigned readings as well as the personal
      impact of your involvement as a community volunteer and how it has shaped or changed your own
      understanding of what it means to lead (20 points); and

5)  share your volunteer experience and additional readings with your classmates (venue to be
      determined) (20 points).

TOTAL: Possible 100 POINTS.


Loeb, Paul Rogat. The Impossible Will Take A Little While: A Citizenís Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, Perseus Books Group, 2004.

Read approximately 100 pages:
Part 1: Seeds of the Possible (pages 16-55)

Part II: Dark Before the Dawn (pages 63-89)

Part IV: Courage Is Contagious (pages 175-190)

Part IX: Only Justice Can Stop a Curse (pages 383-396)


Record your observations as a volunteer by writing notes each time you volunteer. These notes must cover the minimum 20 hours of observations.  At the end of the quarter, you will need a signed release from someone in the organization verifying your volunteer work.  Your notes and the release form become part of a final portfolio.

Reflection Paper:

Write a 4-5 page paper (double space, 12 point font) integrating what you have learned in class about leadership and what you have learned in your experience as a community volunteer.   Address the following three themes and questions in your reflection paper:

1) Establishing the Context: where did I volunteer and what specifically were my responsibilities? In what ways did I use my leadership skills as a volunteer (communication, adaption, etc.)?

2) Connecting to Our Class Theme of Leadership: What new connections can I make between my experiences as a volunteer and the knowledge I have gained in class? What insights have I gained about the relationship between leadership and oneís involvement in community?

3) Developing Greater Awareness:  how has this experience as a community volunteer shaped how I perceive myself as a leader? What assumptions or self perceptions have changed?  What will you do with this new knowledge and awareness?

Your reflection paper, field notes, and signed release form are to be handed in the last day of class.