Undergraduates must satisfy a graduation requirement of 45 hours of service to the community.

Undergraduates may complete the service required for graduation through community service activities (usually with external agencies) or service learning in UIW classes or programs.


Community Service Activities at UIW include the following:

  1. They help meet community needs
  2. They are done out of concern for the well-being of the community
  3. They provide an opportunity for learning about civic responsibility

Service Learning at UIW includes community service which:

  1. Is required in the class or the program
  2. Is completed to better understand course or program content
  3. Reflects concern for the well-being of the community
  4. Helps students to reflect, find meaning in their lives, and keep engaged to be good citizens in the future

A Service Learning Project within a class or a designated Service Learning Class? Faculty may have one or more service learning experiences within a class. Faculty may seek to have a class designated as a “Service Learning Class.” This designation may help draw students, assistance from the ECCLS and support. To qualify as a Service Learning Class, the faculty:

  1. Assigns service associated with one or more of the class outcomes
  2. Assigns five or more hours of service

A faculty member seeking information on how to get a class officially designated as a Service Learning Class should contact kirk@uiwtx.edu

Practical Considerations: Community Service Hours

Selecting an Activity

The primary motivation for service is to improve the quality of life for others and always respect their human dignity. Service activities at UIW should have the following traits:

Helping Meet Community Needs

Done after high school and within last 5 years (for undergraduates); outside one’s home; not for pay; as an individual or with a group; in conjunction with nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations; supervised or with a contact person who can verify the service completed.

Promoting the Well-Being of the Community

Catholic Social Teaching calls UIW to serve those in most need in the wider community; but needs are everywhere: neighborhood, UIW, wider community including the global. UIW encourages students to do most of their service in the wider community.

Needs may include: health care, child care, literacy training, education, welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, community improvement, animal care, and care for the environment.

Learning about Civic Responsibility

At UIW, students reflect on their service (on the documentation form and with other methods) with the goal of making volunteer service a life-long commitment.

The Ettling Center has an extensive list of community partners, that is, agencies seeking volunteers. For any questions about what is acceptable as service, or what may be consistent with the Catholic identity of UIW, students should contact the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership office, AD 158, 283-6423 — before doing service

Recording Community Service Hours Students record their community service through the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership. The student is responsible for completing the Service Documentation Form with appropriate information and signatures and submitting the online form on the UIW Engage system

Practical Considerations: Service Learning Courses

Tying Service to Learning

A service learning course is one in which students accomplish one or more learning outcomes through service and their reflection on it, with the instructor helping students see connections between service and the course content. This might include writing, discussion, and/or other structured time for students to reflect on the service experience including how this relates to UIW mission values and Catholic Social Teaching. Reflection should also relate to learning about civic responsibility. A service learning class is not defined by how many hours of service have been done nor by the percentage that the service/reflection counts in the grading.

Choosing the Service Activity

Some instructors set up particular service opportunities while other instructors guide students to the community partners listed on the Ettling Center website. The primary issue is how students fulfill the learning outcomes of the class. The Ettling Center is happy to assist faculty find appropriate community partners who need volunteer service. Some accrediting agencies require service learning in the program. In these cases, instructors might oversee service learning within the entire program rather than in a single class.

Recording Service Completed in Service Learning Courses (Students)

For undergraduates, service completed in a service learning course can count towards the 45 hours of community service required for UIW graduation. Students record this service through the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership by completing the Service Documentation Form with appropriate information and signatures and submitting the online form on the UIW Engage system

Recording Service Learning Activities (Faculty)

The Ettling Center invites faculty to record both small and large service learning experiences because they are a part of the UIW mission and because UIW is seeking the prestigious Carnegie Classification. To record a service learning course, click the Recording Service Learning Form which is on the left column of the Faculty Resources page of the Ettling Center webpages.

In addition, full-time faculty are invited to include service learning on the annual the Faculty Self Inventory. Because service learning is valued, it should be documented on Sedona. The directions for that are shown on BlackBoard in the Faculty Repository site with the title “Intro Service Learning Code in Sedona.” 

For More Assistance

Anyone who needs more assistance⁠—whether faculty or student⁠—is encouraged to contact the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership at (210) 283-6423 or visit the office in room 158 of the Administration Building on the UIW Main Campus.