Community Based Service Learning (CBSL)

Community Based Service Learning (CBSL) serves as a valuable alternative methodology to assist students in achieving nursing program clinical competencies. At Lamar University’s JoAnne Gay School School of Nursing, CBSL is defined as:

“A philosophy of education which emphasizes active, engaged learning with a goal of social responsibility…it is reciprocal learning, dynamic and interactive… which suggests mutuality in learning between the student and the community with whom he or she is actively engaged” (J. C. Kendall, 1990, Combining Service and Learning, Vol. 1, pp. 22-23).

  • After their first semester, students are enrolled in a CBSL LU Learn (Blackboard) Course.
  • Activity Logs, Agency Verification Forms, and Intent Forms are available within LU Learn (Blackboard) Course.
  • Complete policies for CBSL for the Baccalaureate Degree program may be found in the Undergraduate Nursing Studies Student Handbook and are posted in the LU Learn (Blackboard) Course.
  • For questions or concerns, please contact Becky Seymour, Coordinator for CBSL Activities at 409-880-1767, Room 223 of the Mamie McFaddin Ward Health Sciences Building or email
*****New CBSL Opportunities are posted in the CBSL LU Connect (Blackboard) Course.*****

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my CBSL hours due?
The CBSL policy lists the due date for each clinical/practicum course. The exception is the last semester in the program. The due date for the final semester is based on completion of your compressed course and you must read your syllabus for this date.

If I do more hours this semester than what is required, will these hours carry over for the next semester? 
Absolutely! You may also want to consider accruing hours during semester breaks. 

When can I NOT perform CBSL hours?
At Winter Break, Lamar University is closed and you would not be able to reach a faculty or staff member. You will need to view the Fall academic calendar to see when Lamar University closes and reopens.

How long does my journal need to be?
You may combine activities and highlight the major points which would reflect satisfactory completion of your CBSL objective. The CBSL objective for the semester is found in the CBSL policy. Typically a few well written paragraphs are sufficient to support CBSL objective achievement.

Can I do CBSL hours with my local school district nurse if the district is not listed on the pre-approved list?
All school district nurses are pre-approved even though they are not all listed on the pre-approved list. However, you must contact the school nurse in advance and follow district policy on volunteering. For BISD, you will need to see the Lamar University Nursing CBSL Coordinator for an application and instructions on proceeding.

What activities are categorized as Service to the Profession as these hours are capped at 25% of your required hours?
Service to the Profession hours are mainly accrued through LUTNSA Student Nurse conferences such as Council of Schools and the State Convention. Occasionally, a few other pre-approved events will be designated as Service to the Profession. Activities sponsored by the Dishman School of Nursing such as New Student Orientation, the Nightingale Experience, and mentoring of high school students or peers are categorized as Service to the University.

How many hours are needed in the category of Service to the Community?
At least 50% (60 hours) of your required hours should be performed as Service to the Community. There is no problem with doing all of your hours in this category if you so choose. There is no requirement to have hours in either Service to the Profession or Service to the University, although many students like to have a variety.

May I do all of my CBSL hours at one location?
If you are having a positive experience and see personal or professional growth as you enhance your learning in the nursing program, then it is permissible to do all of your hours at one location. However, if you feel you are stagnating at your selected location, then by all means select another activity that will allow for your personal/professional growth.

May I do CBSL hours where I am employed?
CBSL hours will not be awarded for service that is:

  • performed at "for-profit" agencies or businesses
  • provided at the student's place of employment
  • provided at agencies that are family owned, operated, or managed
  • provided for family members
  • fundraising in nature
  • clerical or office work in nature

Why can’t I do activities such as Xeroxing, filing, cooking for the homeless?
Please remember that your CBSL hours are service learning hours and not just volunteer hours. Every nonprofit organization has a need for volunteer hours. However, your hours should be tied to your CBSL objective. CBSL hours are actually independent clinical/practicum hours and therefore it is an expectation that while you provide a service, you will also be in a learning mode.

Can I do a ride along with EMTs or Paramedics?
Ride along is NOT permitted due to safety reasons.

What do I wear while completing CBSL hours?
Students should wear the Lamar University JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing monogrammed red polo shirt with khaki or black ankle length slacks fitted at the waist or skirt.  Appropriate shoes with closed toes and heels - no sandals or flip-flops are required.  Finally, the official student name badge, Lamar University JoAnne Gay School of Nursing should be worn and visible.