Agency Fact File and
Suggested Questions for Your
Face-to-Face Interview/s

This is essentially a two-part assignment, though those parts are clearly inextricably woven together. The first part is your Agency Fact File, a fairly "nuts-and-bolts" profile of the agency for which you'll be working. The second is your Face-to-Face Interview Component, which is - by its nature - a rather more personal endeavor. You are expected to keep ALL your writing at a scholarly level, working with such guides as what's required for Theses, Quotations, Introductions, and Conclusions, good transitions, as well as Areas I, II, III, IV, V, and VI of the rubric.

Agency Fact File

For your Agency Fact File, you must include the following eight items of information:

(1) The Service-Learning Center's "Position Description" of your agency assignment (it may need to be scanned).

(2) A description of the people your agency serves, as well as a list of your agency's main programs and community activities.

(3) At least one recent newspaper or magazine article (not the entire document) covering an activity sponsored by your agency. If this is something not already "online," you are to scan it/them and post it/them to your Agency Fact File.

(4) Any PUBLIC DOCUMENTS - pamphlets, brochures, information sheets, etc. - issued by your agency describing its specific purpose and mission. If this information is not already "online," you are to post them to your Agency Fact File (possibly after scanning relevant pamphlets, brochures, information sheets, etc.).

(5) At least one copy of an "IN HOUSE" document - a recent newsletter or similar - issued by your agency. Yet again, if the document/s is/are not already "online," you are to scan it/them and post to your Agency Fact File.

NOTE: If your agency objects to including an "in house" document in your Fact File, a representative of the agency must contact me - via s-mail, e-mail, or fax - with a brief statement describing why they object and what provisions/edits (such as substituting invented names/addresses for actual ones) may be made to make it not objectionable. (Of course, my surface-mail address is John A. Dowell, 202 Bessey Hall, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48824. My electronic-mail address is My fax number is 517.432.6233.) ALSO NOTE: If some aspects of the newsletter are less sensitive, ask your agency representative if specific sections may be made available.

(6) Links - with one-paragraph descriptions - to at least three other agencies with similar purposes and missions.

With all this information gathered and consumed, you are now prepared to compose ...

(7) a 500-750 word essay about your agency.

Once a draft of that is written, you're ready to conduct ...

(8) your interview (which, you'll note, gives your Agency Contact Person an opportunity to respond to - supplement, amplify, clarify - your findings, above)

Interview Component

What follows is a list of suggested questions to pose your interviewee/s in your Service-Learning placement agency. You are not strictly bound to ask only these questions; they are to be considered "jump-starters" if you just can't think of anything at first. However, these are merely the "barest of bones"; you should tailor your questions to fit your agency. Moreover, you are expected to devise follow-up questions for those offered in the bullet list below.

Be certain to have with you a copy of the Audience Assessment form!

Final drafts should begin with a brief introductory narrative describing the purpose of the interview. It should include descriptions of the environment - the "ambience" - of the place where the interview was held. Where exactly was it held? What day and time? Did everyone arrive at the appointed time? (If not, did that effect the interview in any way?) Were other groupmembers there ... and asking questions? (Presuming so, be sure to identify who asked which questions.) What were the sights, sounds, smells, tastes in the air as you approached the site and in the place of the actual interview? What were you and your interviewee wearing? (Was it setting-appropriate?)

    • Describe the hierarchy of the agency. (Supplement this with a flow-chart, including your interviewee's position in that hierarchy. This material may already be available on a document; have your interviewee go through it with you.)
    • How long has the agency existed (locally/regionally/state-wide/nationally/internationally)?
    • Where are the local/regional/etc. headquarters located? (This might well be indicated on the agency hierarchy.)
    • How would you characterize the history of the agency?
    • What is the best part of your job?
    • What is the most frustrating part of your job?
    • What is the hardest part of your job?
    • What is the most rewarding part of your job?
    • If you could change anything about the agency, what would it be and how would you go about doing it?
    • If your agency's budget were suddenly tripled - and you were in charge of the "pursestrings" - what would be the first thing you'd change at the agency?
    • Who are some of your personal heroes? Have their "messages" impacted your work at the agency? How? What might future generations learn from your heroes?
    • What other agencies are conducting similar business as this one? What do you see as their successes and failures? What might your agency learn from those agencies?

created 8.00
revised for content 4.01