FAQ

Log your Service-Learning hours weekly through HWSCollegiateLink

Hobart and William Smith’s mission statement states, “Hobart and William Smith Colleges are a student-centered learning environment, globally focused, grounded in the values of equity and service, developing citizens who lead in the 21st century.”  The Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning (CCESL), located on the 2nd floor of Trinity Hall, oversees many (but not all) of the community service and civic engagement opportunities in partnership with local organizations.

What is Community Service?
Service is defined as individual activities or group projects that partner with a not-for-profit organization to address community identified need. Service activities promote social justice, enhance social welfare, and include opportunities to learn about specific populations or social issues through focused discussion and reflection activities. Examples of service activities may include volunteering to serve prepare meals at the Community Lunch Program, coordinating a book drive for Geneva Reads, or assisting with spring cleaning efforts at a non-profit agency or faith based organization. 

What is Civic Engagement?
Civic engagement means acting upon or public conversation concerning issues of social concern that aims to build community and contribute to the common good. Such action fosters the ongoing human development and agency of persons hampered by social conditions. Civic engagement efforts include raising awareness about an issue, political engagement, social action, and policy and social advocacy. Such activities may include participating in rallies or protests, distributing informational literature, voting, or campaigning.

What is Service-Learning?
“Service learning is a credit-bearing, educational, experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.” Robert Bringle and Julie Hatcher

What is Philanthropy?
Philanthropy means the act of raising funds or goods to support a social need or cause. This can be achieved through holding a fundraiser to benefit a not-for-profit agency or social cause or contributing money or goods to an event such as a canned food drive or awareness walk. The payment of event registration fees or the soliciting of monetary donations to support your participation is also considered philanthropy.

When do I need to report service, civic engagement or philanthropy?
All service conducted either as an individual, with an organization, or through a service learning course should be reported via Collegiate Link. In addition, civic engagement or philanthropic efforts benefiting a non-profit organization or social cause are to be tracked utilizing the Experiences section of Collegiate Link. All involvement should be reported within a week of the activity.

What is the difference between reporting individual and organization service activity?
When you complete service or civic engagement activities or offer donations to a non-profit organization as an individual you will follow the instructions for individual service reporting. When you participate in service activities or offer donations to a non-profit organization as a part of a student organization, your club leader may submit hours on your behalf. Check with that person to verify group submission.

If I was involved in a service project with an organization, but they did not submit the hours, how will my service hours count?
Ask the Service Club Leader or CCESL staff to submit hours via Collegiate Link for those members present during the group service project. If this is not a possibility, you may submit the hours on your own via CollegiateLink and designate the organization with which you participated.

What is the importance of filling out the SIR form?
The main reason to report community service, civic engagement, or service-learning is to formally track your involvement to be included on your involvement record. Your involvement can be used in consideration for campus awards such as, President’s Civic Leadership Award, Engaged Student Scholar of the Year and/or as a supplement to job, graduate school or award applications.

Is there a deadline to report service-learning hours?
You should upload your hours weekly.  The requirement should be met on the day before reading days start at the conclusion of each semester. 

Are my service hours verified?
Yes, a staff member will contact the non-profit organization representative to verify your service hours.  Service-learning site visits, completed by CCESL staff and Civic Leaders, occur throughout the semester. 

10 Steps to Reporting Service Hours for Your Service Learning Course

  1. Log into access Collegiate Link
  2. You must accept the email invitation to join your specific course section within Collegiate Link.
  3. If you cannot access your service-learning class via Collegiate Link, contact CCESL (315-781-3825) to be added to the class roster
  4. At the very top of the page, under “My Involvement” select, “Service Hours”.
  5. Under Organizations, select your specific course ID number and name.
  6. Enter the dates your service was completed.
  7. For description, enter the name of the organization and describe your service activity (ex: read three books with my student in America Reads, visited with my partner resident at the Living Center, etc.).
  8. Enter the duration in the format of H:MM, rounding to the nearest 15 minutes.
  9. For Verification Contact, enter serve@hws.edu
  10. Press submit

*Upon submission, staff within the Center will verify your hours for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. Once verified hours are approved or denied. At any given time, log into CollegiateLink to view the status of your service hour submissions.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your hours are entered weekly and in totality by the day before the beginning of reading days.*

CONTACT

Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning
Trinity Hall
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-3825
E-mail: serve@hws.edu

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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