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Community Service

All UIW graduates must complete 45 hours (non-credit) of service to graduate.

The service must be completed, documented and verified before the application for graduation is filed. For a complete list of FAQs on community service guidelines please visit the The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership community service page.  Here are a few tips.

Reasons not to procrastinate:

  • Many agencies require orientation and background checks that may take 2-3 days.
  • Your busy schedule may only allow you to perform service during the weekend; many organizations fill up quickly, or do not operate on the weekend.
  • Completing hours early ensures you are participating in an activity you enjoy
  • Many agencies have a grand fundraiser or gala; by volunteering early you may be invited to attend the event as a volunteer or guest.

Things you should know:

  • Ask for the volunteer coordinator of the agency to which you are applying. In many cases this person knows where help is needed and can place you quickly.
  • If you take a break from volunteering, get the coordinator's contact information before you leave and complete the online form the same day; many non-profit agencies have a high employee turnover rate the same coordinator may not be there when you return.
  • You may enter your service hours online at The volunteer coordinator will receive an email in order to approve the hours so be sure to get the contact's name, title, email, and phone number to complete your online form. Paper forms are no longer used.

On and Off Campus service:

  • Of the 45 hours required, 15 may be earned on campus such as Light the Way, Phonathan or assisting with baccalaureate mass.
  • Off campus locations are anything off campus including the retirement community adjacent to the University.

What counts as service?

  • Helping people in need and organizations that are consistent the Mission of UIW.
  • You may not be paid.
  • If you are helping at an event, field trip, brownie group etc because you have a daughter, son, niece, nephew or relative it does not count.
  • Internships, practicums, clinicals or earning course credit do not count.

Why volunteer?

Other than it is required look at it this way…

  • It is an opportunity to network, meet other people, you never know who you will meet.
  • Many organizations allow children; it is an excellent opportunity to earn hours and spend time with your family.
  • It is an opportunity to have time alone away from your family.
  • Learn what is going on in San Antonio and the agencies making a difference in the community.
  • If your thinking about changing jobs, its an excellent opportunity to find out what you enjoy doing.

Community Service Suggestions

Neighborhood Conferencing Committee: Serve on the committee that assesses and assigns 10-13 year old first time Class C Misdemeanors referred from Municipal Court.

Wildlife Rescue: Transport rescued animals to refuge, or care for animals on refuge premises.

Habitat for Humanity: Wednesday-Saturday help future homeowners build a home they could otherwise not afford.

San Antonio Food Bank: Help rescue food product from conventions, or stock and organize food pantry as donations arrive.

Ronald McDonald House: Friday 6pm-Sunday 6pm Weekend manager to check in/out families. Prepare rooms and launder linens.

For more information about volunteer service opportunities or advice on what counts as community service:

The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership

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