Frequently Asked Questions
These guidelines provided by the Center for Community Engagement at West Virginia University, are intended to design and explain what constitutes service both on and off campus. This is not a policy and these guidelines may be updated or changed. Furthermore, some service opportunities may need to be explored more carefully to determine if the service is meeting the goals intended for a particular requirement.
Volunteer: Any student, faculty or staff member from any WVU campus, engaged in any type of service defined below.
Community Service: The practice of volunteering one’s time and talents to promote the common good and personal growth, while meeting actual community needs.
Service-Learning: A teaching and learning strategy by which students learn through intentional and structured community service tied to specific learning outcomes and integrated through reflection.
Outreach: Improving outcomes for individuals and families in West Virginia and the surrounding region through sustainable, active collaborations, building on resources, skills, expertise, and research-based, knowledge in a manner that is consistent with the land grant mission.
Community Engagement: The collaboration between institutions of higher education 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.
Community Engaged Research: Collaborative process between researcher and community partner with the intent to disseminate knowledge that will contribute to both the community and institution/discipline goals.
Civic Responsibility and Activism is...
- Lifelong citizenship development through participation, engagement and empowerment
- Institutions fulfilling their purpose while acting to promote a strong inclusive democracy
- Creating a larger sense of mission, purpose, integrity, and clarity of direction
- Supporting the development of community and belonging
A “learning through action” philosophy that informs methodology which educators utilize to engage learners in intentional direct experience and focused reflection outside the traditional classroom setting to increase knowledge, develop skills and strategies, clarify values, and apply prior learning. (Adapted from the Association of Experiential Education).
- The volunteer may not be paid or compensated in any way for the duration of the placement.
- The service must be supervised and provided in a safe environment that promotes learning at all times for the volunteer.
- The service may include, but is not limited to, participation with non-profit,
governmental, public, faith-based, campus, or community-based organizations designed
with any or all of the following purposes:
- Improving the quality of life for community residents;
- Meeting the needs of community residents; or
- Fostering civic responsibility.
- The CCE and iServe cannot accept opportunities from private families/individuals. This includes, but is not limited to, tutors, personal care assistants, nannies, and pet care. Volunteers may not be directly supervised by family members.
- Monetary or In-Kind donations are being considered by the CCE. As of April 2023, an hour of service is equal to $26.67 in the state of West Virginia. For this reason, to be consistent across tracking and certifications, donations must meet an hour's worth of service to qualify for iServe.
- If volunteers assist in the collection or distribution of donated goods, the time spent doing so may be tracked as service hours.
- Remember the rule that “an hour of service counts as an hour of service.”
- Example: To receive an hour of service on iServe, the volunteer must donate $25 worth of items. This is stackable up to 10 hours worth of service for any qualifications of certificates.
- Students who would like to experience service through presenting to donate blood will have the opportunity to earn two (2) community service hours. If a student is not eligible to donate, they will be given the opportunity to volunteer at that site for the same number of hours.
- Students may use the same service hours for multiple courses, at discretion of the course instructor. There are cases where similar experiences may be counted for multiple instances, but students should always check with their instructor first.
- Time spent traveling to or from events cannot be counted toward an hour submission. Due to various factors effecting reporting and metrics, we ask that if you want to include miles traveled to do so in the separate box provided, and not in the submitted hours. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this holds true for general service, service-learning courses, and departmental requirements.
If you have questions about whether a particular service opportunity you intend to complete meets the above guidelines, contact the CCE staff at: CCE@mail.wvu.edu or call us at 304-293-8761 prior to beginning service.
Non-Partner Volunteer Opportunities
Although most charitable, non-profit, faith-based, public or governmental organizations are eligible to post their volunteer needs in the iServe system, only official partners of the CCE may host students from service-learning courses or supervise student placements that require academic supervision. Official Partners also enjoy a variety of other benefits and services. Inquiries are referred to on the How to Become a Partner page on our website.