Get Started with Service Learning


MIAD has updated our Service Learning website. Please visit 





Community organizer Emma Toth with donated food at the Food is Free pantry in MKE. Source: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Welcome to MIAD Service Learning! 

Service Placement Requirements

Before choosing a service placement for this semester, please look through the following requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Chelsea through to discuss.

  • Students are required to complete 10 hours of volunteer service by midterm and 35 hours by the end of the semester.
    • Students who do not have a signed contract handed in and 10 hours complete by midterm (March 8th) will be asked to drop the course.
  • A contract must be filled out by the student and the supervisor at the organization they are volunteering for in order for those hours to count for the course.
    • Multiple contracts can be filled for multiple placements, though we strongly encourage volunteering at one organization, and at least one contract is due by midterm.
  • Service hours must be done with a registered nonprofit organization that is local to the greater Milwaukee area, or in your local community if you commute from outside of Milwaukee. Volunteer work done for family members, individual artist practices, or places of business, do not qualify for this course.
    • If you believe you may need accommodations for virtual service, please talk to the Service Learning Assistant to discuss. An accommodation letter is required for virtual service options. 
  • The service placement or project must be pre-approved by MIAD Service Learning or a course professor.
  • The project supervisor on your contract will be asked to fill out an evaluation of your performance at the end of the semester, and their answers will factor into your grade.

How to Choose a Service Placement

In order to begin your required service hours, start by considering what type of placement you might want to volunteer with. If you’re unsure of where to start, MIAD Service Learning has a long list of local organizations that we partner with, all listed on the “Who We Work With” page. The Featured Placements list highlights some opportunities that have available for you. Spend some time looking through the featured placements on this page to get some ideas for where you might want to volunteer. You aren’t required to choose one of these organizations, but they are a good starting point.

Who We Work With

Your first assignment for the semester is to fill out the Student Interest Inventory, linked below. NOTE: You must use your MIAD login to access this link. The responses that are collected with help the Service Learning assistant suggest some opportunities for your service placement.

Student Interest Inventory

Once you’ve submitted your answers, the Service Learning assistant, Chelsea Beiler, will contact you within a week to give you some suggestions for places you might be interested in volunteering based on your answers. If you would like to set up a meeting or send an email to discuss your options for service learning, please use the following email:

Chelsea Beiler
Service Learning Program Assistant
Office hours: Mon-Thurs, 10am-4pm

Beginning your Service Placement

We strongly suggest reaching out as quickly as possible. Some organizations have limited volunteer opportunities or may be busy and take a while to respond, and the sooner you contact them, the better your chances of getting started with your service hours in a timely manner. Chelsea will send out information about how to contact the volunteer coordinator at the organizations she suggests, and can help you get in contact with other organizations you’re interested in.

If you are concerned about getting started with a placement quickly, you are welcome to contact two or three organizations expressing interest in their volunteer opportunities and begin working with the first organization that is able to get you set up. You can always politely let other organizations know that you’ve chosen a different opportunity if you don’t choose to work with them. Please remember to follow up with any organizations that you contact so they know if you plan on volunteering with them or not.

If you don’t receive a response to an email within a few days of sending it, we strongly encourage you to make phone calls to try to get in contact with the volunteer coordinator. Many nonprofit organizations run with a small staff and may take a while to respond to emails, so you may have more success over the phone.

In the event that you are unable to reach a volunteer coordinator or the placement doesn’t work out, we recommend having backup options. Early on, choose one or two backup organizations, and be ready to contact them if you don’t hear back from your first choice within a week.

Contract and Timesheet

When you start volunteering, you will be required to fill out a contract and have your supervisor at the organization you’re volunteering with sign it for you. You are required to turn in a contract by midterm in order to pass the course, so we recommend bringing it with you to your first volunteer shift or orientation meeting and have it signed then. We also recommend letting your supervisor know that they will be asked to fill out an evaluation at the end of the semester based on your performance.

Service Placement Contract

You will also be required to keep track of your hours using the following timesheet. Your supervisor will be asked to confirm the hours you served. In order to use this timesheet, please go to File > Make a Copy, which will create your own copy in your personal Google Drive. You will not be able to edit the original file.

Service Learning Timesheet

When you are ready to upload your contract or timesheet, please use the following links based on the course section you’re taking. If your course section is not listed here, your professor is using a different method for collecting contracts and timesheets – please refer to course materials for instructions.