Service-Learning Questions & Answers
Question 1: How can a student get started with Service-Learning?
Students interested in Service-Learning are encouraged to view the Student Information page and visit the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement on their campus. Each student will need to submit a Service-Learning application. The office staff will then openly discuss the rest of the process. We also encourage students to check their course syllabi and talk to their instructors at the beginning of the term regarding course-specific requirements.
Question 2: Where is the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement located?
Eastern Florida State College has a Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement office on each campus.
Cocoa Campus: Building 12, Room 305
Melbourne Campus: Building 10, Room 209
Palm Bay Campus: Building 1, Room 120
Titusville Campus: Building 1, Room 141-B
Question 3: Where can students volunteer?
Generally, the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement requires hours to be completed at a non-profit organization. A great starting place for students is the Community Partner Link Directory, which is a compilation of local non-profit organizations. When students are looking for a community partner at the beginning of the term, we recommend that they take the following into consideration:
Instructor Requirements: To enhance the classroom experience, instructors often require a student’s Service-Learning to mirror the course curriculum, so it’s not uncommon for instructors to set course-specific requirements.
Community Partner Restrictions and Requirements: Some community partners have age restrictions and other requirements (time commitment, orientations, etc.). Students should keep this in mind while choosing a community partner site.
Career/Major Interest: To take full advantage of their Service-Learning opportunity, students should consider a site that will allow them to explore a career or major interest. It’s a great way to gain experience and network with the local community.
Question 4: How many hours do students need to complete?
Students completing a Service-Learning option for a course should check with their instructor about time requirements. Any hours completed by the student that are thoroughly documented and verified are put on the student’s transcript (SHOAT). There are no maximum or minimum hour limitations when helping your local community.
Question 5: What defines a non-profit organization?
A non-profit organization is formed for the purpose of serving a public or mutual benefit other than the pursuit or accumulation of profits for owners or investors. If you’re unsure whether or not an organization is non-profit, contact the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, and the staff can further assist you.
Question 6: Are there any deadlines?
Yes. There are deadlines throughout the term, and it is crucial to adhere to them. Make sure all deadlines for individual instructors are met, as well as the deadlines set by the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. View the Deadlines and Events Calendar for more information. It is also important to set a realistic timeline for yourself so you can minimize stress and fully enjoy the Service-Learning experience.
Question 7: Can students volunteer with local, state, and national government entities?
Yes. If students are motivated by this field, we encourage them to visit the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement so we can assist them in getting the most out of their Service-Learning experiences.
Question 8: What is the difference between the course option for extra credit and the 4th/5th credit option?
Course components are Service-Learning opportunities an instructor offers for extra credit in a class. This option requires the student to visit the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, complete the necessary forms, and perform the requisite number of service hours (as determined by the instructor).
The 4th/5th Credit option is an opportunity for the student to earn an extra credit hour on their transcript. This option has the same requirements as the course option for extra credit, in addition to the following requirements:
Question 9: What if a student wants to volunteer somewhere not listed in the Community Partner Link Directory?
The Community Partner Link Directory is not all-inclusive. If a site is not included in the directory, contact the CSLCE so we can review it.
Question 10: Can students still do Service-Learning if their instructors are not offering it as a course component?
Any student interested in completing Service-Learning hours is welcome to do so. The completed hours will be recorded on their academic transcript (SHOAT). This is an option some students consider if they are curious about a specific major/career interest, or if they just have a passion for helping their community. If this is something that interests you, contact the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement so we can help you start your Service-Learning endeavors.
Question 11: Is it possible to complete service hours with more than one community partner?
Generally, the answer is yes. If you are considering multiple placements, discuss this with your instructor and the staff at the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in order to avoid complications later in the term.
Question 12: What is a Citizen Scholar, and what are the requirements for the program?
The Citizen Scholar distinction is a highly sought-after accolade awarded to the most qualified Service-Learning volunteers. The requirements are as follows:
- 300 community service hours
- Ongoing reflective journal
- Three Service-Learning class components or 4th Credit Hour options
- Three credit hours of community service academic classes such as SOW 2054 (Community Involvement) or SOW 1051/1052/1053 (Human Service Experience I/II/III)
- Integrative final essay prior to graduation
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements, the student will receive:
- Citizen Scholar Certificate
- President's Letter
- Recognition at the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement's annual volunteer recognition event
- Notation on college transcript
- Convocation acknowledgement in graduation program
- Cord of distinction at graduation
Question 13: How can a student check to see how many completed Service-Learning hours are on their transcript?
Students can contact the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, or check their unofficial college transcripts via FloridaShines.
Question 14: Can a student receive credit for service hours completed prior to registering with the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement?
Presuming the student was an Eastern Florida State College student at the time the hours were completed, the adequate form is completed, and the hours can be verified, the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement can record up to 100 hours on the student's academic transcript (SHOAT). If the hours were completed prior to registering with the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, contact us so we can help.
Question 15: What should a student do if completed Service-Learning hours don't appear on their transcript?
Contact the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement regarding discrepancies between what is expected on a transcript and what is actually recorded. There are multiple reasons this may have happened. To avoid any complications, please remember and consider the following:
- Always keep copies of all forms
- It is the student's responsibility to turn in forms in a timely manner, and to ensure they are filled out completely and accurately
- Students must sign in as required by their Community Partner; this is vital for end-of-term verification
- To avoid spending time at an organization we cannot accept hours from, the Placement Confirmation Form must be submitted prior to beginning Service-Learning
Question 16: Are there scholarships available for Service-Learning students?
Absolutely! Students who have completed a minimum of 75 documented service hours and have an overall GPA of at least 2.5 are eligible to apply. Please refer to the scholarships page for specific deadlines, additional application requirements and scholarship terms.