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Academic Service-Learning

Due to the ongoing safety precautions related to COVID-19, all academic service-learning activities will be conducted remotely during the spring  2021 semester.


Academic Service-Learning is a proven pedagogy, utilizing an experiential learning approach that couples meaningful community-based service with course-specific learning objectives as a mechanism to enhance student learning through addressing real social needs and purposeful academic reflection. By taking learning from the classroom to the community and back to the classroom, Academic Service-Learning provides a diverse set of tangible academic, social, and cultural outcomes for students, faculty, campus, and community. Academic Service-Learning at Bentley is a robust and integral component of student learning and growth in key personal and professional areas including:


4th-Credit Option | Embedded Service-Learning | Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)

Civic Skills

Cross-cultural understanding

Organizational and time management skills

Inclusionary practices across identity differences

Effective communication skills

Leadership for social change


Service-Learning Programs


4th-Credit Option

Due to the ongoing safety precautions related to COVID-19, all academic service-learning activities will be conducted remotely during the spring 2021 semester. To apply for the Service-Learning 4th-Credit Option, visit the Academic Service-Learning section under the Students tab.     

The 4th-credit option is a one-credit class attached to a three-credit course.  The 4th-credit option enhances learning by helping students apply course concepts in the world outside of the classroom, using knowledge gained in class to assist others. Students may take one 4th-credit option per semester for a total of three semesters.  Three 4th-credit courses add up to the equivalent of a 3-credit course toward the student's transcript.


Ordinarily, students are required to complete 20 hours of on-site service. This spring, to reduce Zoom fatigue for Bentley students and community members, students in most programs will be asked to complete:  

  • one hour of virtual service per week for ten weeks

  • 30 minutes of facilitated reflection per week for ten weeks  

  • complete three short Blackboard reflection assignments  

In addition, students are required to:  

  • Attend the mandatory Academic Session, Program-Specific Training and Closing Reflection.  

  • Successfully complete the academic deliverables as assigned by the sponsoring faculty member.  

  • Meet with sponsoring faculty member at mid-term and at the end of the trimester to discuss and reflect on connections between  the service experience and course learning objectives.

Mandatory Academic Session, The Program-Specific Pre-Service Training, and Closing Reflection

An essential component of successful service-learning experiences is the preparation process. Students in courses that do not have course-specific projects will be required to attend the mandatory Academic Session and Program Specific Pre-Service Training conducted by the Bentley Service-Learning and Civic Engagement staff before students can begin service in the community.  Students participating service-learning in non-course specific projects are also required to attend the mandatory Closing Reflection. Please note that, unfortunately, students who do not attend the mandatory trainings and reflections will not be enrolled in the Service-learning 4th-Credit Option.

To apply for the 4th-Credit Option:

      Sign into Workday 

      Go to Academics, scroll down to Quick Links on the bottom right side, click on More than Service-Learning 

      Click on Log in Via Bentley

      Verify your account by clicking on Agree to Terms then click on Submit 

      Click on Applications then the Spring 2021 Service-Learning 4th-Credit Option Application

      Click on blue Apply Now box in top right corner

      Complete the application as instructed, making sure to:

-   Upload the 4th-Credit syllabus addendum provided by your sponsoring professor on Blackboard.  Applications without a syllabus addendum will not be processed.

-   Enter the email address of the professor you hope to sponsor you in the Service-Learning 4th-Credit Option where indicated.  Applications without a faculty agreement form will not be processed.  Faculty response deadline is 4:30 p.m., Thursday, January 28.


    Click on the confirmation button of the Student Academic Service-Learning Agreement.  By doing so, you agree to complete all actions and responsibilities relating to the completion of academic, virtual-service, facilitated reflection, and BSLCE Blackboard assignments.   

    Submit the completed application by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27.

No late applications will be accepted.  No exceptions.

Embedded Service-Learning

Embedded service-learning courses incorporate into the course curriculum a community-based project that advances learning objectives, addresses an identified community need and involves meaningful student interaction with the community partner. These projects also provide students with an opportunity to build awareness of local communities and the social and civic challenges within them.

Projects can include:

  • Analyzing accounting information systems
  • Developing strategic plans
  • Designing websites
  • Conducting market research 
  • Providing mentoring and tutoring
  • Teaching English as a Second or Other Language
  • Tutoring in computer skills

Embedded service-learning may involve the entire class or can be offered as an embedded track (i.e., one of several assignment options). Students do not receive an additional credit or grade for these projects.

If you are a student enrolled in an Embedded Service-Learning course, please check with your faculty member to confirm whether or not if you are required to complete and submit an Embedded Service-Learning application. Some students participating in Embedded Service-Learning are required to attend Mandatory Academic Session One, the Program Specific Training, and Closing Reflection.

Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)

Students will receive notification of their service-learning program placements by Sunday, January 31.  Students placed in programs in the Waltham Public School (WPS) systems will be required to compete a CORI through the BSLCE.  All other students will complete the CORI process through their assigned community partner site. All CORIs will be processed virtually. Additional detailed information on how to sign up for a “CORI time” will be emailed to students in WPS programs on Monday, February 1.

CORI Processing Sessions

  • Wednesday, February 3 from 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 3 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

To complete the CORI, a student must provide the following documents and information:  

  • A state or federal government issued identification, such as a Driver’s License or Passport.  

  • Last six digits of social security number  

  • A letter of good standing from the Center for International Students and Scholars (international students only).  

International Students

If you are an international student, you must obtain a CORI Letter from the Center for International Students and Scholars. Follow the link below and then the instructions to request a letter of good standing. Plan for five business days for your letter to be processed. 

To request a CORI Letter, follow the below steps by going to:

When your letter is ready, you will receive an email from CISS with your letter attached. Please bring the CORI Letter, along with your passport to one of the CORI processing times. Obtaining this letter can take two to five business days, so please plan accordingly.

If you have questions, please email,