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Center for Community Engagement

Approved Community Service

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Students applying for the USM CItizen Scholars designation should ensure they complete 100 hours SEPARATELY from their community-engaged learning experience. 

What Counts as Community Service

Volunteering with a community organization (not a for-profit business)
Examples: coaching, tutoring, mentoring, food pantries, nursing homes, etc

Volunteering at a faith-based organization without faith requirement (not teaching Sunday School, evangelism, singing in choir)
Examples: Setting up decorations for event, volunteering with outreach activities, child care during services or at Vacation Bible School, etc

Volunteering as part of an event that raises money for charity (not donating items or asking for donations)
Examples: 5Ks, Chili Cook-Off, Car Wash

Volunteering with a campus department for an activity that benefits a charity or the general well-being of the USM community (not just activities that only help University departments)
Examples: Eagles Nest Food Pantry, Post-Game Campus Clean Up, Seymour’s Career Closet, The Institute for Disability Studies 

Student activities that benefit the health or well-being of the community or campus  (not just tabling to recruit members for a student org or putting on recreational activities)
Examples: Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Mental Health Awareness Week, EagleTHON

Volunteering with citizenship or voter registration activities (not campaigning for a specific candidate or political party)
Examples: How to Voter Registration, Voter Registration *Drive Thru*, 

Not all experiences count as community service. Typically, traditional internships, practicums, or student teaching experiences do not count because the benefit is almost entirely for the student. There are exceptions, however. 

Characteristics Service-Learning Community Service Traditional Internship/Practicums/Student Teaching

Primary Intended Beneficiary

Student and recipient(s) Recipient(s) Student
Primary Focus
Providing meaningful service & enhancing  classroom learning

Providing meaningful service Learning by doing

Intended Educational Purpose/Benefits
Academic learning, enhanced intellectual and civic engagement Moral, personal and social growth and development Career development and professional preparation

Curricular Integration
Full integration within the curriculum None Co-curricular and supplemental
Includes structured reflections

Generally not included May include reflection

Nature of Service Activity
Based on course topic or discipline Based on student interest or motivation Based on industry or career

Duration of Activity
Semester Agency decision A semester or longer

Time Commitment
Prescribed by class instructor Variable Prescribed by program


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Center for Community Engagement
116 Harkins Hall
118 College Dr. #5211

Hattiesburg Campus

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