Community Learning Agreements


Bonner Scholars must complete a Community Learning Agreement (CLA) for service sites that they commit more than 30 hours per semester to. The Bonner Leadership Team (BLT) reviews these CLAs to make sure  the type of service being completed is appropriate and allowed by the Bonner Foundation’s funding guidelines. In addition, the BLT ensures Scholars have a core set of objectives for their project and work.

How to Create a CLA

Structure and content inspired by University of Richmond’s CLA page

1) Go to

2) Use your Oberlin email and BWBRS password to access the site.

3) Then go to “Community Learning Agreements” under the Student Menu on the left-hand side.


4) Go to “available actions” in the upper right hand corner

5) Select “Add a Community Learning Agreement”.  It should be your first option.


6) Before selecting your organization, make sure you are in the correct semester.

7) Then you can select your primary organization.

*If your primary organization is not listed for the current semester, but you have logged work with them in the past, please email to request that the previous position be transferred over to the current semester. If you are fulfilling a new position at a previous site or are working at a new site altogether, then you must fill out a Position/Partner Request form instead. Once either of these steps are done, then you should be able to select your organization from the options provided.*


8) Once you have selected the position associated with your primary organization, your community learning agreement will show up.

9) Be sure that you click on your site supervisor even if there is only one option.  The name will be highlighted once you have correctly selected your supervisor. If you do not select a site supervisor, your hour log cannot be signed.

10) Fill in your primary objective and your learning goals.


11) Under your primary objective, choose the tab “objective” and select the description chosen for your site.  If it does not describe your actual objective, please leave it blank.  In the description be sure to have correct grammar and write in first person.

11) Continue to “learning goals” and select two objectives for your goals.  Be sure to focus on a skill, knowledge area, or learnable trait that you will develop during the semester. Make sure your goals are measurable and that it is also written in first person.

12) When you are done with your CLA, click “save” to complete it. Once you have saved it, re-open your CLA, and click on “Available Actions” and notify your school administrator.


13) Once your CLA is approved, sign it. Email your site supervisor and request them to sign it as well. Both, you and your site supervisor should have signed your CLA before you pick up your first check.

Your Objectives and Learning Goals
Primary Objectives

These are your service objectives, or what you hope to accomplish through service. The importance of an objective is to describe what is the purpose and nature of your service work in a way that suggests how it will have a measurable impact.

Example: I will assist the class coordinator with 20 students, aged 5-8, who are enrolled in the Young Actors class. Specifically, I will attend class-planning sessions and demonstrate games during class to ensure that teaching is conducted more effectively and efficiently.

Learning Goals

Your goals should focus on a skill, knowledge area, or learnable trait that you will develop during the semester. While your objectives focus on what you’ll do during your service, your learning goals should focus on what you will be learning through your service.

Example: During my semester of service, I will learn how to design and lead group activities for children in a way that is easily communicated and understood.

Make sure that your primary objectives and learning goals are S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific:  Indicate what you will be doing, for how long, with whom and for what purpose
  • Measurable:  Mention the intended result or impact
  • Actionable:  Write objectives/goals in the active tense
  • Realistic:  Ensure your objective are tenable for the time period of the project and hours involved.  If you mention a specific impact, you will be asked to report on it later
  • Timebound:  Try to mention how much time is involved, in a summary sense (e.g., 10 weeks) or what may be achieved over a specific time period.

Types of Service

Bonners can do service of many types; however, the beneficiary of the service should be the community (outside, not just campus), and the work should not be primarily administrative. In addition, co-curricular activities (such as recreation, dance, or arts) are only allowable when they also benefit a community constituency or program.

Restricted Activities
  • Religious proselytizing: A student cannot be involved in any kind of service to persuade individuals or groups to join a particular religious group or belief. They may, however, do regular educational tutoring with, say, a church youth group. Interfaith work is also permitted.
  • Fundraising: Bonners can do some fundraising, so long as it is not for the organization’s operating expenses or endowment. Only 10% of total hours are allowed for fundraising.
  • Political Campaigning: While Bonners are encouraged to be involved in advocacy or political engagement, you may not count these hours for service.
  • Only On-Campus Work: A student’s placement should not just be on campus. Only the Senior Interns (part of the Bonner Leadership Team), or other campus specific, Bonner-defined interns can have their primary work occur to benefit the program and campus community.
  • Administrative Work: Even the Senior Intern’s work should not be primarily administrative; rather it should focus on managing sites, training students, and overall program management.
  • Academic Credit: Bonners cannot count hours that you are receiving academic credit for.