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Information for Students

Welcome to the Common Ground Web site. The Common Ground Service Learning experience is open to all Long Island University Brooklyn Campus students. Some professors assign it as part of a class requirement. However, if you wish to perform community service independently, you can! On this Web site you will find all the essential forms and agency information that you will need to begin your service-learning experience. Please read all instructions on this page before you begin.

To get started, you will need to fill out a Student Learning Agreement, which will need to be signed by your professor and submitted to our office.

You will be able to look through a large database of agencies to choose a site at which you would like to volunteer your time. Please note: in order to access our database of agencies, you need a password. To get the password you must register with Common Ground, which is easy! Call or visit Naterena Parham-Cofield in the Social Work Department, 718-488-1025, 8th floor of the H building or e-mail us at commonground@brooklyn.liu.edu. Provide your name, phone number and e-mail address and we will give you your password.

Once you have your user name and password, follow these steps to begin:

  1. Search for a site at which you would like to work.
    Logon to the Placement Site Database. Enter the username and password. Use the database to find three or four opportunities that appeal to you. You can search by borough, by language, by population served or by task performed. Many of the sites have Web links you can use to learn more about the agencies. Have fun searching!
  2. Call the agencies that you have chosen.
    You may proceed with this step on your own. However, we are here to help you with all stages of this process. Please contact us, or visit us during our office hours and we will be glad to assist you.
    Once you have written down the contact information for a number of sites, call the contact person at those agencies. Introduce yourself as a Long Island University Brooklyn Campus student from the Common Ground Service Learning Program. Tell them you are interested in performing community service at their agency. They will be delighted to hear from you! Ask any questions you may have, and if it sounds good to you, make arrangements to visit the site in person. Then, choose the site you think will work best for you. 
  3. Fill out the Student Contract to enroll in the Common Ground Service Learning Program.
    This is required to work at one of our sites. This form is required for Common Ground enrollment. Print out one form for each agency you wish to visit. When you find the agency you like, have the supervisor at the agency fill out the form with you and sign it. Return this form to the Common Ground mailbox located in the Social Work Department on the 8th floor of the Humanities Building.
  4. Start service learning!
    Agree with your supervisor on your start date, and then begin working at the agency. You will need to fill in a timesheet to track your hours.
    Remember that you don't have to do it alone! We have advisors who can work with you one-on-one to help you to find the right site, to make sure your experience is a positive one and to answer all of your questions.