How to Complete the Program
To receive the Engaged Citizens distinction, you must complete seven credit hours of service-learning courses (S-L required, optional, or contract-option all count), 100 hours of community service, and a reflective essay detailing their experience in the program.
Seven service-learning credit hours:
In these courses, you serve a community to learn class objectives firsthand. For example, in English composition special topics sections like Animal Welfare you may learn how to write compelling essays by creating biographies for foster animals. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 in the service-learning courses completed, and at least a C- in each service-learning course completed.
You may take some classes that are designated as “service required,” which means every student must complete the service-learning activities to earn credit. When registering for For service required classes, look under the “special enrollment” column for the code “SVC LEARNING”. Some classes are “service optional,” where you can choose to participate in these activities. While S-L optional courses do not have a special enrollment code, your professor’s syllabus will make that option clear.
You can find a full list of our S-L required and optional courses on our website.
CCELL also offers a contract option where you can take any class and propose a way to implement service-learning activities to fulfill the service-learning requirement. You will need to find a community partner to work with (or have one in mind) and create a plan to connect the service to your course’s learning objectives.
Both you and your professor must complete the service option contract, which outlines :
- How many service hours you will complete over the semester
- How the learning objectives relate to the course’s content and service-learning
- What type of reflection component you will submit upon completion
- How your professor will assess the service-learning activities
- What grade you must earn to receive the service-learning credit
If the professor, community partner, and CCELL approve of the contract, you are all set to proceed! If you’ve fulfilled the requirements of the contract at the end of the semester, you will receive service-learning credit for that course on your transcript.
Do you have a contract-option idea? Contact the CCELL program manager (Taylor Armer, email@example.com) to discuss your plan today! The absolute latest you can submit a contract option form to the program manager is before the final add/drop date of each semester. PDFs are the most preferred format.
100 hours of community service:
There are many ways to fulfill this requirement. Our students volunteer in hospitals, schools, animal shelters, food banks—you name it. Many students are already involved in service projects before they join. Any volunteering service you have done during your time at LSU may count, even if you had not yet joined the Engaged Citizens Program. You must log these hours in Tiger Link with a description of the service you’ve done and a verification contact. We are happy to help with this process and answer any questions you may have about how to input the hours or if the service counts.
These hours must be done separately from the service required in service-learning classes. Our partners at LSU Campus Life verify, approve/deny these hours based on the entry. The entry must include a description of service, date, hours and minutes, and the email or phone number of someone who can verify this service. If your hours are denied, click the entry to view their feedback so that you can edit and re-submit it.
The reflective essay:
The final requirement is writing a reflective essay, which is your personal account of what you’ve learned while taking service-learning courses and engaging in community service. It will address your thoughts toward the communities you’ve served and how those thoughts may have changed or cemented through the work. The essay should reflect on the issues that the service addressed. All service-learning courses require reflection, and those assignments will help prepare you for this essay. Taking notes or journaling about your service experience can also help compile important memories when it is time to write.
The essay must be at least five pages long, double-spaced, in 12-point font. We have a rubric, worksheet, and best practices guide available to help organize your essay. It will be due mid-semester before graduation. CCELL staff will contact students with this due date and other resources.
When it comes to writing, we are here to help. We encourage you to submit the first draft of your essay if you’d like our initial feedback; however, it is not required. You can submit the final essay at any time; but CCELL advises students to complete at least 50 hours of service and take at least 4 credit hours of service-learning before turning it in. Service essays should be reflective of the author and the communities they served.
To join, fill out the registration form, and download resources for service hours, contract options, and the reflective essay, visit our Tiger Link page.