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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Senator: Volunteers should earn credits

    Students may soon be able to earn class credit for their community service hours.

    Steven Gerner, an Associated Students of the University of Arizona senator, said he wants to implement a service-learning program at the

    It is an opportunity for students to earn university credit by providing technical expertise to community groups or nonprofits.
    – Steven Gerner
    ASUA senator

    UA that would give students course credit for doing community service.

    The goal is to create a program for students to help out the community while also earning course credit, Gerner said.

    Once students have completed the required number of hours, the student would enroll in a reflection course, and receive credit at the end of the course.

    The program is similar to an internship, but it focuses on community organization as opposed to work experience.

    In addition, students can complete their hours during their own time, with the choice to extend their hours throughout their entire college career.

    “”It is an opportunity for students to earn university credit by providing technical expertise to community groups or nonprofits,”” Gerner said.

    The logistics of the program are yet to be determined, as the program is in its early stages.

    In order for the program to be successful, ASUA needs to determine how financially feasible it would be, said Gerner, who does not want students to pay tuition for the credits.

    Gerner also said the departments need to be in support of the program.

    The idea began when Gerner said he recognized the role students play in the Tucson community.

    Tucson organizations have recognized the vast amount of talent UA students have to offer and have been trying to seek out ways to contact students who would be interested in helping with their organizations, Gerner said.

    Since some of the organizations only need

    I think it’s good because there are so many students that already have to do hours for their clubs and sororities.
    – Denise D’Amico,
    sociology senior

    help for smaller projects during a defined period of time, students have the flexibility to move to various organizations that need assistance, Gerner said.

    Other universities have similar programs, including Purdue, Gerner said.

    “”I think it’s good because there are so many students that already have to do hours for their clubs and sororities they already belong to,”” said Denise D’Amico, a sociology senior. “”Why not get credit for your time spent doing something good for the community?””

    Run entirely online, the program would allow a nonprofit or small association to post an open position on the service-learning Web site, Gerner said.

    Students enrolled in the service-learning program could search the listings to apply for a volunteer opportunity.

    This trial program could be offered to students in one of the smaller departments on campus as early as spring 2007. If the program is successful, Gerner said he hopes to have a full program set up by spring 2008.

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