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Resources and Information

General Information and Resources

How does WVU define service

These guidelines provided by the Center for Service and Learning 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. 

All volunteers are responsible for reviewing the guidelines written here, and should email the Center for Service and Learning at iserve@mail.wvu.edu with any questions or concerns.

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. 

Civic Responsibility and Advocacy: 

      • Lifelong citizenship development through participation, engagement and empowerment
      • Institution fulfills its purpose while acting to promote a strong inclusive democracy 
      • Creating a larger sense of mission, purpose, integrity, and clarity of direction 
      • Supports the development of community and belonging

Approved service opportunities meet the following criteria: 

  • 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. Volunteers may not be directly supervised by family members.
  • Typically, activities with for-profit business organizations are not appropriate. 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 Center for Service and Learning and iServe cannot accept opportunities from private families/individuals. This includes, but is not limited to, tutors, personal care assistants, nannies, and pet care. 
  • Monetary or In-Kind donations are not considered a replacement for completing service hours.  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 thatan hour of service counts as an hour of service.”
  • 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.  For more details about blood donation, click here.

Approval of service opportunities is at the discretion of the Center for Service and Learning at all times and is evaluated on an ongoing basis. 

If you have questions about whether a particular service opportunity you intend to complete meets the above guidelines, contact the CSL staff at: iserve@mail.wvu.edu or call us at 304-293-8761 prior to beginning service.

 

Volunteer Tips

Working with a nonprofit organization to volunteer takes some preparation. Make sure you have the best experience possible and do so as effectively as you can by working WITH the agency not creating more work for them. Remember that agencies first priority is to serve their mission. Help them serve that mission properly by being a good volunteer.

FINDING THE PERFECT FIT

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin to consider working in community service projects and placements. These questions could form the basis of your volunteer interviews.

TIME CONSIDERATIONS

  • How much free time do you have available to do community service or social justice work?
  • How many hours a week would you like to be involved?
  • How much of a commitment are you willing to make? How many months are you able to commit to a volunteer job?
  • Can you follow through with your commitment? This is a quality that agencies look for in volunteers.

SKILLS, INTERESTS & EXPERIENCE

  • What are you passionate about? How do you feel you can make a contribution to the community and, very importantly, to yourself?
  • Have you done community service work before? What did you like/dislike about it? Do you want to do something similar again?
  • Do you have any hobbies, interests, or paid work experience that you could use in your job?
  • Are there career skills or experience you would like to develop through your community work?

JOB SETTING

  • Do you have a geographic preference? How far are you willing to travel to do volunteer work? How would you get there? Do you have access to transportation?
  • What kind of atmosphere would you like to work in? Quiet? Fast-paced?
  • Do you want to work inside or outside?
  • Do you want to work independently or with others in a team effort?

FOCUS

  • What age group do you want to work with? Infants, children, teenagers, adults, the elderly?
  • Do you want to work with a community action or social justice program, a school or educational program? Would you like to work with recent immigrants? Would you want to work in a program that addresses physical, mental or emotional disabilities?
  • Do you want to work one-on-one or with a group of people?

PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Do I know someone who could provide a reference for me if I need one? Have I asked that individual in advance so they will know that they may be contacted?
  • If I am under the age of 21, do I understand that there may be certain volunteer opportunities that have minimum age limits for which I do not qualify? 

-Provided by Smith College

Using iServe: Instructions, FAQs, Guidelines and Forms 

Instructions for Volunteers

Instructions for Organization Managers

Frequently Asked Questions and Guidelines

Program/Major Pages

Information on completing service with an organization not in iServe

While we encourage students to be active and complete service in the Morgantown area with official WVU campus and community partners, we understand that students often complete service in their hometown. 

Hours completed by students that are associated with a Need posted by an Organization NOT in iServe may be tracked in the system.  

  1. Check to be sure the Organization is not in iServe, if an Organization is in iServe, but does not have need posted -- you may contact the organization directly. 
  2. Review the guidelines for service.
  3. Complete the "Pre-approval Request Form" 
  4. The CS&L will review your request. You will receive an email either requesting additional information or that includes an approval of service and further directions. KEEP THIS EMAIL!
  5. Complete your service.
  6. Track your hours episodically. (e.g., as they are completed.)
    • When tracking your hours, select the volunteer Need titled "Volunteer Service Not Listed in iServe". Include a brief summary of the service performed and the name of the host organization in the description box.
  7. CS&L will verify and approve/deny hours of service.

Pre-Approval Request Form

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

  • A request form must be completed for each new host organization.
  • Hours must be tracked within 12-months of the service being completed. 
  • If you have completed service and did not seek pre-approval, contact the Center for Service and Learning at iserve@mail.wvu.edu

Information on Service Hour Migration

Hours completed in the former iServe may be migrated only by request. This process will not be automatic. Please note that hours do not need to be migrated for verification of graduation requirements, if you have an urgent need for your logbook data please contact us directly. No data will be lost! The CSL will continue to maintain an archived copy of all data stored in the outgoing iServe system which can be access by request at anytime.  

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at iserve@mail.wvu.edu

  1. Complete the "Request for Service Hour Migration" form (link below).
  2. You will receive confirmation of your request.
  3. Allow 5-10 business days for processing. You will be notified once the migration has been completed.

Request for Service Hour Migration

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Hours will not appear in the new system under individualized needs.  Hours will be tracked administratively by the CS&L under a need entitled “Migrated Hours from Previous iServe System.”
  • When possible, hours will be tracked by “reason for service.” (i.e., if a student has 150 total hours tracked in the old system with 100 hours as ‘Exercise Physiology’ and the remaining 50 hours as ‘General Volunteerism,’ they will have two entries for the above hours.
  • No data will be lost! The CS&L will continue to maintain an archived copy of all data stored in the outgoing iServe system which can be access by request at anytime.  

Other Resources and Information

Schedule a Service Consulation

The Center for Service and Learning offers one-on-one consultations where we can help you find the right service site and/or assist with navigating iServe. Consultations are designed for anyone looking to get further involved in the community, it does not matter if you are an undergraduate, graduate student or staff on campus. We want to be sure you have a service experience that is positive and works for you!

You will meet individually with someone from the iServe team to talk about your interests, skills and goals to help direct you to an opportunity that meets your needs.

To schedule an appointment, please fill out the pre-consultation form and someone from the iServe team will contact you. Appointments will generally be scheduled between 1-3 PM on Monday and Wednesday.  

Pre-Consultation and Appointment Request Form

In order to better prepare for your consultation here are some tips:

Arrive on time

  • If you have to cancel, make sure to contact the CSL and let us know.

Come prepared

  • Know your goals for the appointment:Do you want to find regular service for the semester? Does your service group need a new project? Are you concerned with continuing service post-graduation?
  • Know your time commitment

Think about what you’re passionate about

  • Do you want to work with kids? Have you always wanted to help animals? Or do you see yourself helping out at a local garden?

Ask questions!

Follow through/Stay motivated

  • These appointments are going to give you resources to go out into the community and find your next service project. It’s up to you to follow through with that

Keep in touch

  • The CSL wants your volunteering to be successful. If you have any other questions, let us know! You can come in for another appointment or speak directly with us through e-mail or phone.

Find Accessible Service Opportunities

Find Service Opportunities within Walking Distance of Campus or the PRT

Transportation Services

NOTE: The CSL does not provide transportation to volunteer host sites, however here are some resources options for transportation in the Morgantown area. 

MountainLine Bus Schedules

WVU PRT Schedule

Zipcar