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Center for Leadership and Service

Community & Volunteer Services

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Kean University takes pride in the passion to serve within its students, faculty, staff and administrators. One of the primary goals of the Center for Leadership and Service is to build a culture of leadership and service within the Kean University community. The Center for Leadership and Service serves the University community as a student-focused connection point for student involvement and campus engagement. The Center encourages active citizenship and celebrates individual and community involvement. Kean University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as a result of the dedication and hard work of its students, faculty, staff and administrators to improve the lives of all members of the surrounding community. Kean University community members have volunteered countless hours.

 

University Awards and Recgonition For Service 

Recording Service Hours 

To learn more about recording your community service hours on your Co-Curricular Transcript, please visit the Service Hours webpage by clicking here.

GE1000 Civic Engagement and Community Service Out of Class Activities 

The School of General Studies requires every student enrolled in GE1000 (Transition to Kean - T2K) to fulfill an out of class requirement that is an approved civic engagement or community service activity. The Center for Leadership and Service works with the School of General Studies to provide these approved experiences for students enrolled in GE1000. To view a list of upcoming approved GE1000 approved service and civic engagement events in Cougar Link, please click here.
 
 Federal Work Study Community Service Program

The Center for Leadership and Service coordinates the Federal Work Study (FWS) Community Service program for Kean University in partnership with the Office of Financial Aid. Students that are eligible for Federal Work Study and have a passion to serve may be eligible for placement on one of Kean University's community agency partners. To learn more about the Federal Work Study Community Service Program, please click here or contact the Center for Leadership and Service, located in University Center room 219, by calling 908-737-5170 or emailing serve@kean.edu.

Jumpstart

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Kean University partnered with Jumpstart in the 2012-2013 academic year. Since then, over 40 Kean students have participated in Jumpstart, touching the lives of hundreds of local pre-school children with more than 9,000 hours of service! Click here to learn more about Jumpstart. 

Forms and Policies 

To find community and volunteer service forms and policies, please visit the Center for Leadership and Service Forms and Policies webpage by clicking here.
 
Why Should You Serve?

  • Students involved in volunteer, community service and service learning have:
  • Improved academic learning skills and improvement in grades
  • Increased civic and democratic participation
  • Improved critical thinking skills
  • Greater understanding of diversity issues
  • Improvement in interpersonal skills (includes self discovery)
  • Improved degree and career planning
  • Improved retention and expedited graduation
  • Improved leadership skills
  • Greater impact on (ability/interest in solving) social problems
  • A gain in valuable work experience
  • Improvement in class attendance
  • Greater satisfaction with college experience
  • Improved relationships with faculty when involved in service-learning
  • Ability to apply what students have learned in “the real world”
  • Improved sense of social responsibility and citizenship skills
  • Improved health 

Source: National Service Learning Clearinghouse
 
Types of Service 

The Center for Leadership and Service categorizes three (3) basic levels of service

  1. Volunteer Service 
    • Minimal time commitment;
    • Limited service with no direct academic component;
    • No expectation of monetary compensation;
    • Minimal preparation;
    • No required educational component
    • Examples: tabling involving fundraising, donation of goods, donating blood, charity walks etc.
  2. Community Service 
    • Required time commitment - short term and/or long term
    • Educational component included;
    • No expectation of monetary compensation or academic credit;
    • Reflection required;
    • Participant takes part in orientation and preparation for service activity;
    • Service focuses on the need of the recipient rather than fulfilling individual or group participant incentives.
  3. Service Learning 
    • Long term commitment that has a learning/training component (usually 10-20 hours)
    • Service experience is linked with a course for academic credit;
    • Service projects are selected to illuminate an aspect of a discipline's academic theory;
    • Learning goals are clearly defined and appropriately assessed;
    • Creative and critical structured reflection required.
    • Example: Service Learning courses listed on KeanWISE

SERVICE TIPS FOR KEAN VOLUNTEERS
These guidelines will help you have a safer and more effective experience as a volunteer.
 
BE AWARE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT:
Remember you are a helper, a learner, and/or a visitor. The organization with which you are working has specific ways of interacting and getting things done. Be aware of these particularities and act appropriately. Do not assume you know how to do things or know more than the people who are there everyday.
 
FOLLOW A WORK ETHIC:
Remember your agreement to serve is a commitment to Kean University. You will establish relationships with people from all walks of life. If you are going to be late or are unable to attend please call The Center for Leadership and Service as soon as possible. Consider carefully the reason you might have for missing your commitment. Also, remember all volunteers are required to sign in and out before and after volunteering.

TABLING ETIQUETTE:
Dress in appropriately. Wear neat and clean clothing
Refrain from eating at the table, if you have a beverage please do not place the beverage on the table
Refrain from cell phone and personal laptop usage unrelated to the tabling activity
Refrain from any vulgar/inappropriate language
Refrain from having friends/peers to sit/lean/linger on or near the table
Be helpful and have a positive attitude
FOLLOW UNIVERSITY/AGENCY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
Be familiar with the specifics of your job. Gain a clear understanding of any rules you need to follow.
 
UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR CONFIDENTIALITY:
Becoming personally involved with the volunteer work is a rewarding experience, but remember you may be dealing with sensitive information that is confidential. If there is any question as to whether you should share information.... DO NOT! Additionally, do not feel pressured to share personal information with peers. When keeping a journal, protect the identify of clients.
 
ABOVE ALL, USE COMMON SENSE!
Don't leave visible items in your cars’ interior.
Work in pairs, if possible.
Stay informed of issues affecting the area in which you serve.
Do not borrow from or lend money to clients or staff of the agency.
Do not give out your home address or telephone number.
Take extra special precautions when going to sites at night.
Never use alcohol or drugs on site. Please respect the smoking policy of the agency.
Be sensitive to your own needs and limitations. Maintain an appropriate level of distance from those at the site and don't counsel clients unless you are trained to do so.
Don't expect to know all the answers. It is okay to admit that you don't know something. If faced with a question you are not familiar with try to get the answers or direct someone to the proper person that can provide an answer.
Don't hesitate to report an incident to the supervisor that makes you uncomfortable.
Be aware of sexual harassment policies and what forms sexual harassment can take. It is unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, either verbal or physical. It refers to behavior which is not welcome, personally offensive, and which debilitates morale.
The Student Code of Conduct is in effect when representing the University as a volunteer.

All incidents (real or perceived) should be reported to the Center for Leadership and Service by calling (908) 737-5170.

Source: George Mason University Center for Leadership and Community Engagement

 
 

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