Northeastern University: Center of Community Services

Service-Learning Teaching Assistant Program

Service-Learning Teaching Assistants (S-LTAs) act as a liaison and resource for S-L campus and community partners. Therefore, the S-LTA program is designed around five goals:

  • training and supporting student S-LTAs to develop their leadership skills;
  • assisting faculty members to implement the best practices of S-L in their course;
  • supporting community partners to help ensure partnership goals are met through student and faculty engagement;
  • aiding student service-learners in meeting their academic and service requirements and commitments; and
  • serving as an extension of service-learning staff to facilitate a quality program that is academically rigorous and socially and ethically responsible.

S-LTAs are typically assigned to a single course, and therefore support a specific faculty member, cohort of students, and one or more community partnerships throughout the semester. In many ways, S-LTAs act as a project manager and logistics coordinator for the course and associated partnerships as a way to foster the principles of community engagement in the course.

Applications for Fall 2019 due Monday, April 1st

S-LTA Responsibilities & Expectations

S-LTAs can expect to spend approximately 7-10 hours each week committed to this role through the following responsibilities:

Training & Center of Community Service Support

  • Complete S-LTA training before the semester starts (online).
  • Attend the S-L Semester Kick-Off & Orientation (typically the week before or within the first week of classes).
  • Attend and participate in all S-L student leader weekly meetings (Wednesdays from 6-7:30pm).
  • Manage and track student service placements and hours.

Faculty & Course Support

  • Attend all sessions of assigned course.
  • Develop a working rapport with the faculty member; act as a thought partner for faculty and partners to integrate service and learning experiences..
  • Introduce S-L to students alongside faculty member, including preparation of the course and partnerships in the 1-2 weeks leading up to the semester.
  • Collaborate with faculty member to plan for upcoming classes and assignments.
  • Co-facilitate reflection activities and assignments with faculty member.
  • Act as an engaged participant in class (engagement to be defined in collaboration with the faculty member).

Community Partnership Support

  • Communicate with community partners to assign students to their organization and ensure their expectations are being met through service (attendance, engagement, etc. of student service-learners).
  • Document progress of partnerships through guided activities and tools.
  • Maintain communication with community partners to ensure shared goals of the partnership are on track for shared success.


Students are able to be compensated through one of the following:

  • $1,000 stipend 
  • work-study (if eligible)
  • unpaid directed or independent study (must be for academic credit, arranged through academic department)
  • unpaid internship or practicum (must be for academic credit)
  • volunteer (may include Civic Engagement Program)


  • support from a community of peers
  • opportunity to build a professional relationship with a faculty member
  • professional development training (past trainings include: asset-based community development, conflict management, flexible leadership, reflection, facilitation techniques, bystander intervention)
  • engage with community partners through a new perspective


  • minimum 2.8 GPA
  • undergraduate sophomore standing and above, including graduate students
  • previous community service experience required (S-L and/or in the Boston community preferred, but not required)
  • ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • excellent organization and communication skills
  • able to attend S-LTA training and all S-LTA weekly meetings
  • patience, flexibility, and a great sense of humor!

S-LTA Application Process

Applications for Fall 2019 are due Monday, April 1st. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after this date if positions are still available.

  1. Read through the S-LTA responsibilities and expectations.
  2. Submit an online application, and upload you resume and a letter of recommendation.
    1. Once you begin your application, you will not be able to save a draft and return to it later. Please use the preview to help you plan your application.
    2. Applications require an academic or professional letter of recommendation. If you have a recommendation on file from a former opportunity, you are welcome to use that (submit as is, no need to make any edits). If you were personally asked by a faculty member to be their S-LTA, you do not need to submit a recommendation.
    3. Students with advanced proficiency or fluency in Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), or Russian are encouraged to apply to work with one of the language courses.
  3. If these materials indicate a good fit, candidates will be contacted for an interview with the S-L Program. In some cases, candidates will also be asked to meet with a faculty member.

S-LTA Onboarding & Training

S-LTA training takes place online through 3 distinct modules and is accompanied by ongoing support of a Service-Learning Team Manager at weekly meetings.
  • Part 1: Foundations of S-L (20-30 minutes)
    • What is Service-Learning (S-L) at Northeastern
    • How S-L experiences are designed
    • Core elements of S-L
    • Who our stakeholders are
    • Our underlying asset-based philosophy
    • Our S-LTA framework
  • Part 2: Responsibilities & Expectations (45-55 minutes)
    • S-LTA job description & program expectations, big stuff and small bits
    • S-L Team Managers & Street Team
    • Student Employment & payment
    • Accessing S-L resources
  • Part 3: Preparing for the Classroom (35-40 minutes)
    • 10,000 foot view
    • Introducing S-L to students
    • Professionalism & communication
    • Pairing students with community partners
    • Red Flags

Click here to view the S-LTA Program learning outcomes.