Community service is an experience, as opposed to an educational philosophy, where students connect with the local community, satisfying a need in various, usually non-profit, agencies whose populations are often considered in need and at-risk.
The primary purpose of community service is to foster citizenship and an ethic of service through volunteerism in the local community. Specifically, community service contributes to a greater sense of civic responsibility in students, and enhances communication, teamwork and creative thinking. In most cases, it does not carry primary academic credit, though significant student learning usually occurs.
NECC offers a number of pre-approved community service placements in the Merrimack Valley. Students may engage in service to fulfill a course requirement, or to satisfy a desire to volunteer in their community.
Placements are available in a number of areas, and include work with various populations (animals, children, adolescents, and the elderly), clerical or maintenance work, tutoring and literacy in many academic areas, and tasks specific to a particular agency. A list of approved Community Service Volunteer Opportunities (PDF, 940 KB) is available.
“Altogether, about 30 percent of college students are volunteering, with tutoring and mentoring the most common activities.” (CNN)
“The main argument in favor of community service requirements (or incentives) is that such programs expose people to the joys of giving who would not otherwise become involved and that, once exposed, these people will continue to volunteer.” (Wuthow)