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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 Recognition 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.

Opportunities to Serve

Service Events and Activities

The Center for Leadership and Service organizes several community and volunteer service events each month. These service events include, but are not limited to:

  • Blood drives;
  • Food bank visits;
  • Habitat for Humanity; and
  • Park cleanups.

In addition, the Center for Leadership and Service coordinates the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Martin Luther King Jr National Day of Service and National Volunteer Week.

To view upcoming community and volunteer service events, please visit Cougar Link at http://cougarlink.kean.edu. To view events from the Center for Leadership and Service, please click 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.

CLS Service Event Pre-Registration

The Center for Leadership and Service requires that all participants pre-register for community service projects through Cougar Link. As a part of the pre-registration process, students will be asked to review and agree to a release and indemnification agreement, provide emergency contact information and provide their personal contact information so that they may be contacted to confirm their participation. To access the registration form for all Center for Leadership and Service community service projects, please click here. Students will be required to login to Cougar Link to access the service registration form.   

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

For more information about how you can LEAD * SERVE * LEARN contact the Center for Leadership and Service at (908) 737-5170 or view the Center for Leadership and Service events in Cougar Link by clicking here.

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.

    Example: Habitat for Humanity; Big Brother/Big Sister; after school tutoring/mentoring etc.

  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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