Students participating in the Honors College at the University of West Georgia will engage in a variety of experiences that will promote a rewarding and meaningful undergraduate education. Students are provided with opportunities and experiences outside of the classroom that will help students learn, understand and engage with others, and develop the skills and attitudes to become community builders and contribute to the community, environment and to the world.
As a result, Honors College students participate in community engagement as a requirement to graduate with Honors College Distinction. Students participating in the community engagement activities will also be required to reflect on the impact of their contributions of service and how giving to others is changing themselves.
Definition of Community Service
Community Service is defined as unpaid service, voluntary work performed for civic, charitable, and humanitarian reasons. Students volunteering in community service are uncompensated and provide services without the expectations of compensation of any form.
All community service volunteers are expected to abide by University policies and procedures as outlined in the student handbook.
What are the benefits of Community Service?
- Students gain understanding of the issues that most affect their community
- Students are included in the process of positive change in the community
- Students engage in real-world issues and social problems
- Students develop relationships with community members and their organizations
- Students gain insight and knowledge in areas with which they may have been unfamiliar
- Students may find self-purpose and joy in community service
- Many of the skills and knowledge obtained while completing community service can be applied in the student’s future career
- Students will be able to network with a variety of people in a multitude of backgrounds
- Students learn the importance of teamwork and working towards a common goal
- Ultimately students are more well-rounded and better prepared for their futures
What are the Community Engagement Requirements?
Hours Required: Honors College students are required to participate in 60 hours of community engagement to graduate with Honors College Distinction.
Types of Service Required: Service work can be secular or sectarian, occur any time during the student’s undergraduate status at UWG (i.e., during the summer or other breaks), and can take place anywhere. Students can select projects based on interests, career choice, passion, and/or availability. However, students are required to do a minimum of (20% of total hours required) in the Carrollton community, or within a 30 mile radius of the UWG campus.
For questions regarding the community engagement requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What counts as Community Service?
- Volunteering at a community nonprofit organization (examples: Habitat for Humanity, Public Library, Humane Society, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters)
- Taking up collections, such as returnable cans, food drives, donating to a community organization (as long as it is not to raise money for school, church, or a particular person)
- Snow shoveling, raking and helping neighbors (as long as you are not paid as a job)
- Tutoring (unpaid) and helping young kids outside of school hours
- Organized events involving litter pick-up, recycling, flower planting and other community beautification projects, festivals, and Holiday Giving Efforts such as Salvation Army Bell Ringing and Adopt-A-Family
- Mission/service trips may count up to a maximum of 6 hours per day. Travel time may not be counted
- Providing a service to a non-profit organization or the environment without compensation
- Coaching youth sports or fitness/educational classes without compensation
- Child care performed without compensation
- Involvement in for-profit business projects that address a community service need
What does NOT count toward Community Service?
- School activities that only involved those connected to school (examples: cheerleading, student council, classroom/office aide, coaching assistant, decorating for prom, homecoming floats, and concessions at sporting events)
- Church-related activities that only involve your congregation (examples: Bible school, childcare at church, pancake breakfasts).
- Volunteer work done for school credit, except for students enrolled in XIDS 2002: WKAHC
- Fundraisers to raise money for school programs
- Campaign work for a political candidate
- Travel time on a mission/service trip
- Service that does not help those “in need” – for instance, volunteering at your high school annual band competition, singing for services at your local religious organization, will not count
- Service to for-profit entities, for instance, stocking at your uncle’s grocery store will not count even if you're doing it for free
- Political activities
- Fundraisers for clubs or organizations
- Fundraising for living allowances or general operating expenses
- Entering into any contract on behalf of the University
- Working with infectious or potentially infectious agents
- Working without personal protective equipment (PPE) when required
- Working with stored energy (steam, electricity, hydraulics)
- Operating heavy equipment without proper training