Jobs: Service-Learning Assistants

Duke Service-Learning seeks students with federal work-study allocations to serve as Service-Learning Assistants (SLAs) each semester. SLAs work closely with faculty teaching undergraduate service-learning courses, performing tasks such as facilitating community placements; serving as a liaison between faculty, students, and community partners; and leading critical reflection activities. Assignments change from semester to semester. Graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. This position is considered a "Student Assistant - Specialized" and is paid at a rate of $16/hr.

How to Apply

To apply, please send a short resume highlighting relevant experience, with a brief cover note, to Kimmie Garner, at Please state the (expected) amount of your federal work-study allowance for the academic year, and provide a class schedule, if known.

Download a detailed job description here.

Service-Learning Assistants

Job Description

SLA assignments are for one semester, but many SLAs work with us for several semesters, accepting new assignments each term. Exact job duties will depend on the assignment, but may include any of the following:

Identify and develop appropriate community partnerships (service placements)

  • Confirm relationships with existing community partners and research new community organizations as necessary to identify sufficient student placements. Visit potential placement sites. Evaluate partnerships at the end of the semester.

Oversee and monitor service-learning placements throughout the semester

  • Coordinate the placement process, e.g., prepare descriptions of community partners, make an in-class presentation, collect forms, and match students with appropriate sites.
  • Develop or update and carry out protocols for orienting students, e.g., in-class presentations participation agreements. Participate in orientations at placements sites.
  • Check in with both students and community partners regularly throughout the semester to monitor student work and troubleshoot any problems. Help students to understand their roles and the perspectives of the community partners. Track student hours or make sure students are meeting their commitments. Make site visits as appropriate. Hold "office hours" for students as needed.
  • Provide guidance or assistance to individuals or student groups completing service projects or conducting community-based research.

Facilitate critical reflection and integration with academic content

  • Work with the course instructor (and any peer reflection facilitators) to develop a plan for reflection activities, assignments, student evaluations, and other efforts throughout the semester to integrate the service experience into the course. Read course texts as necessary. Facilitate class discussions as appropriate.
  • Read and/or respond to written reflections, summarizing student comments for the instructor if requested

Assist with research related to service-learning

Note: This will not be a major component of most assignments.

  • Conduct literature reviews, surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups. Create or maintain data bases or records. Analyze quantitative and/or qualitative data. Draft sections of a report.


  • "Be visible" by attending class and/or participating in service activities as requested.
  • Communicate and meet regularly with the instructor. Document work. Prepare an internal update mid-semester. Have an end-of-semester meeting to give and receive feedback and share final documentation.
  • Attend an orientation session and monthly meetings with Service-Learning Program. Assist the Service-Learning Program with additional tasks as appropriate, e.g., an end-of-year celebration. Submit final reflections.
  • Assist the training of other/future course coordinators when possible.

Work Schedule & Compensation

Work Schedule

SLAs are typically assigned to work with one course per semester, depending on availability. On average, SLAs work about five hours per week, though work hours can fluctuate greatly from week to week. In some cases the bulk of the work is concentrated in the first few weeks of the semester; in others it spikes at different times, or is spread evenly. In most cases the work can be completed on the SLA's own schedule, however certain tasks may be pre-scheduled, e.g., attending class, or required to take place during business hours, e.g., making phone calls to community partners. SLAs are expected to be available to work for at least one full semester, and are often invited to continue in future semester.


SLA positions are federal work-study positions, paid at $16 per hour. SLAs submit biweekly time reports and are paid based on actual hours worked.


Eligibility & Qualifications


  • Candidate is a full time Duke student. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Candidate must be able to provide a work-study verification form showing a federal work-study allowance for the academic year.


Ideal candidates will have some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Broad range of intellectual interests
  • History of working effectively with working community organizations
  • Experience supervising, leading, or mentoring college students
  • Experience working closely with college faculty
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Prior job experience working from home
  • Interest in service-learning as a teaching and learning method (prior experience with service-learning is helpful but not necessary

Reporting Responsibilities

Reporting Requirements of the Program

SLAs are employees of the Program in Education (the administrative home of Duke Service-Learning). Duke Service-Learning will screen and interview applicants, make work assignments, provide training and ongoing support, collect time reports, and assist with questions related to compensation.

Reporting Requirements of the SLAs

SLAs will be expected to attend training sessions and meetings, develop a work plan for the semester, submit time reports, and communicate regularly with the instructor(s) with whom they have been assigned to work.