Student pulling trash
Students at Highlander Research and Education Center
students at a habitat for humanity

FAQ

Find the answers to common questions regarding Pellissippi State's Service-Learning Program and ServiceCorps. 

Do you have a question not addressed in the FAQ?  Email us at service-learning@pstcc.edu.


What is Service-Learning?

Traditionally, Service-Learning is an experiential teaching and learning strategy used by some professors to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. 

At Pellissippi State students are not required to be a part of a Service-Learning-enhanced or stand-alone course to receive assistance with volunteer capacities through the Service-Learning Program.  Students can register through ServiceCorps and be directly connected with volunteer opportunities and community partners that are relevant to their major and/or interests.

Can Service-Learning be with a for-profit company?

Yes, but only within non-profit parameters.  If the service-learning activity is performed with a for-profit organization, it must meet an identified community need and must not involve the organization's profit-making activities.  For example, students serving an accounting firm where they participated in pro bono audits for nonprofit agencies can count their hours; whereas, a project for a for-profit firm in which the student's service is intended to increase the company's profit-making activities would not qualify.

In sum, please make sure the projects fulfill these parameters or students cannot count the hours as service-learning.

What is ServiceCorps?

ServiceCorps is the online tool used by Pellissippi State students for registering, reporting, and sending graduation notification requests to the Service-Learning Program. Click here to go to ServiceCorps.

What are the benefits of registering and tracking my hours on ServiceCorps?

Pellissippi State encourages and rewards volunteerism by:

  • being the first community college in Tennessee to report your verified service hours on your transcripts.
  • giving Distinguished Service Award Medallions to students who completed and reported 60 or more confirmed volunteer hours during their time as a Pellissippi State student. 
  • providing special opportunities to students who are civically engaged to present on their activities, attend special events, speak about their efforts in interviews, be spotlighted in PSCC publications, and more.
  • recognizing students who have shown exceptional service to the community each academic year with certificates and/or plaques.

What are the benefits of serving the community?

The benefits of serving the community are numerous.  It benefits the community partner, their clients, and you. Volunteering consistently shows potential employers that you have initiative and are concerned with your environment. Consistent volunteers are 55% more likely to get hired for a position in rural areas and 27% more likely in urban areas. Volunteering is an opportunity to gain skills and develop talents for your resume, network, and gain understanding of political, social, and environmental challenges. People who volunteer regularly are statistically more likely to have longer lifespans and a greater sense of community, purpose, and life-satisfaction. 

What counts as community service?

Community Service recognized by ServiceCorps is volunteer hours contributed to a nonprofit or public service agency, and these time contributions must benefit the community.  You cannot receive pay for your volunteer hours.

Volunteering with a For-Profit Business

  • Does not count: Volunteering for a for-profit (as opposed to a non-profit) doing clerical or office clean-up/remodeling does not count as community service.
  • Does count: Volunteering with a for-profit during a fundraiser, awareness campaign, or other service capacity in partnership with a nonprofit or public service agency to benefit the community does count as community service.  Your service to the for-profit cannot be associated with the organizations profit-making activities.

Volunteering with a Religious Organization

  • Does not count: Volunteering in special capacities during standard church services including Sunday school, audio/video production, or acting as an usher.  Volunteer hours must occur outside standard church services. Proselytism does meet volunteer requirements. 
  • Does count: Volunteering with your church by providing meals to low-income families, community beautification/weatherization efforts, or other outreach capacities that address environmental, economic, or social needs are accepted as community service.  Volunteer hours must occur outside standard church services.

If you have questions about whether or not your service is recognized as community service through ServiceCorps, please contact service-learning@pstcc.edu.

I registered.  What now?

Within three business days you should receive an email from a Service-Learning Program representative.  The email will contain recommendations for community partners, or - if you already know who you are serving - the email will acknowledge receipt and thank you for your submission.  You will initiate contact with your community partner unless otherwise instructed, because you know your schedule better than anyone else.  If you have issues contacting your community partner, please contact service-learning@pstcc.edu.

I do not like my community partner options.  Can I get new recommendations?

If your community partner suggestions are not what you were hoping for, please contact service-learning@pstcc.edu.  The Service-Learning Program will send you new options or - if you prefer - arrange to meet with you.

I cannot get in touch with my chosen community partner.  What do I do?

Notify service-learning@pstcc.edu.  The issue may be out-of-date contact information or that the community partner has no need for additional volunteers at this time.  We will work towards a resolution with you and the original community partner or a comparable community partner.

I reported.  What now?

Registration is required before your reported hours will be accepted.  If you have never registered, you will need to go back and do so via ServiceCorps. 

I'm graduating.  What do I do?

Send a graduation notification through ServiceCorps by visiting www.pstcc.edu/service-learning/servicecorps/ and clicking the link on the right column.  If you have volunteered 60 or more verifiable and qualified hours, you are eligible for a Distinguished Service Award Medallion.  It is best to submit the notification of graduation two months before commencement to ensure a medallion is reserved for you; however, a limited supply of medallions may be available to those who submit the form after October 1st in the fall and March 1st in the spring.  Please notify service-learning@pstcc.edu if you will reach 60 volunteer hours before graduation but not before the cutoff date for medallions.

Why are my volunteer hours missing from my online transcript?

The online transcript can only show one semester's-worth of hours at a time.  This means that your hours that showed the previous semester will drop off when new hours are loaded for the current semester.  All semester hours will show on your official transcript.  This is a limitation of the online version. 

My question isn't in the FAQ.  What do I do?

Contact service-learning@pstcc.edu.