Community Service

Purpose

Volunteerism has its roots deeply embedded in the foundation of Prairie View A&M University and is central to its mission of teaching, research and service. Service provides students the opportunity to use their talents and skills to help those in need and to support local non‐profit organizations. In addition, community service is an integral part of students’ learning experiences, contributing to their intellectual, social, and spiritual growth and development and providing a framework for students’ roles as members of local, regional and global communities.

Community Engagement describes the collaboration between higher education institutions and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2006)

In order for service hours to be counted they must meet the guidelines set by the university. These guidelines are based on the definition of community service established by the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service. According to the Corporation, community service activities may include but are not limited to: service-learning, volunteer activities, as well as Work-Study community service and unpaid community service internships. Community service includes both direct service to citizens (e.g., serving food at a soup kitchen) and indirect service (e.g., assessing community nutrition needs or managing a food bank).

Definitions

Volunteering is any activity or service that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that benefits someone else, the local community or the environment.

Community service is an unpaid, voluntary act performed by a student or group of students with an approved non‐profit agency that benefits the local community. Prairie View A&M University puts special emphasis on the relational aspect of community service, and therefore asks students to partner with non‐profit organizations. A listing of approved local non‐profit organizations can be found on Volunteer Services webpage. Individual projects that do not require some amount of collaboration with an approved non‐profit organization will not be counted as community service.

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.

For PVAMU, service-learning is a form of experiential education where students engage in activities with community partners that address human and community needs through structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning.

Approval of all service hours will be determined by the Volunteer Services Office. Students are encouraged to consult with the Student Volunteer Coordinator if they have questions or concerns about how to fulfill the service requirement.

 Submit Service Hours Online (Individuals)

Submit Service Hours Online (Group)

Guidelines for Acceptable Hours

  • Services performed at non-profit camps for no financial compensation will count as community service.
  • In general, hours spent coaching youth sports will count as community service.
  • Tutoring provided at non-profit schools or organizations will count as community service.
  • An unpaid, non-credited internship that takes place at a non-profit organization will count as community service.
  • Students are encouraged to combine their personal skills and interest with their service requirements. ·
  • Coordination of fundraising activities for non-profit organizations and services such as daycare centers, retirement homes, animal hospitals, or nature parks will count as community service
  • Students are encouraged to make a more substantial commitment to at least one organization rather than a series of one-time events. Examples of these commitments include tutoring at an elementary or high school, facilitating a reading group at a library, volunteering at a botanical garden, leading activities for elderly residents at a nursing home or hospital, and serving meals at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
  • Hours must be turned in within seven (7) business days after completion

Limitations on Community Service Hours

  • Service completed for a for-profit organization will not be considered community service.
  • Volunteer work done solely to promote a particular religious point of view will not be considered community service. For example, teaching Sunday school will not be considered as service hours. Activities through a religious organization must be service to a broader community, such as work at a soup kitchen, a project that benefits the community at large for example a park clean-up, in order to receive service credit.
  • Students involved in an academic course with a service-learning component may not receive community service hours for their work since they are already receiving academic credit for the course.
  • Participation in charitable fundraising walkathons, runs, and other events of this nature will generally not be considered as community service.

Campus Community Service Hours

Guidelines for Acceptable Hours

  • Qualified hours must serve campus-wide needs without financial compensation.
  • Examples of acceptable campus service include assistance at the Undergraduate Research
  • Conference, Fall Festival, or special assistance with other designated events.
  • Participation as an unpaid mentor to other students will count as campus community service.

Limitations on Campus Community Service Hours

An activity that serves the interests of an individual or student organization or athletic team, or participation in most extracurricular activities (e.g., a theatrical production, holding office in Student Government) ordinarily does not count as campus community service.

Final approval of all service hours will be determined by the appropriate administrators. Students are encouraged to consult with the Volunteer Services Office if they have questions or concerns about how to fulfill the service requirement.

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