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Service Hour Guidelines

What can I log as Service Hours?

The following are guidelines for logging service hours with the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement. Other campus organizations may have different guidelines or requirements.

Developing an understanding of service is an ongoing process that we engage with as we encounter new questions and situations. If you would like some additional guidance or have questions about a specific type of service please contact the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement at  or (912) 478-1435.

Community Service vs Volunteering

Community Service is broadly defined, but is generally:

  • Time spent contributing uncompensated effort (aka Volunteering) 
  • An act of service that is helping to grow, provide resources for, or otherwise benefit a community
  • Done in association with a Community Partner.

Community Partner is defined as a public, non-profit, or volunteer organization with a stated mission to address one or more identified community needs and that has specific expertise for addressing issues related to that need. A Community Partner may also be a for-profit organization awarded public funding to address a specific community need (such as a section 8 housing community, or private hospital, hospice, or nursing home that accepts public funding). Students that work through private organizations to spend time with and run activities for residents in nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers may log these hours as service. 

Click the button below to view a list of organizations that partner with Georgia Southern to provide service opportunities to students.

Examples of Volunteering which can be logged as Community Service

  • Volunteer or service-learning experiences (including for-credit internships and FYE Peer Leader positions) supervised by and coordinated with a Community Partner, including the campus community. This may include special event volunteering, coaching, tutoring, mentoring, camp counseling, child care, senior care, note-taking, fundraising activities, presentations and performances, attendance at board meetings, setting up and taking down events, and attendance at planning meetings.
  • Service hours undertaken with a faith-based organization as long as direct service is offered to the general population with no faith requirement.  Examples include building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or guiding a church youth group as they work at a soup kitchen open to the public.
  • Actual training time of a service animal or required training to work with a service animal. Trainers may log up to 5 hours a day for everyday activities with service animals.
  • Fostering of an animal through an organization (such as the Humane Society, Fixing the Boro, or the Animal Shelter) can be counted as volunteer hours up to 24 hours per week.
  • Time spent completing required training for a specific volunteer activity. For example, required confidentiality training and agency orientations. 
  • Volunteer firefighters or uncompensated first responders may log ¼ of their shift hours and 100% of their actual time on a response.
  • Citizenship activities, such as voter registration drives, tutoring for citizenship courses, blood drives, etc. are considered community service.
  • Indirect or virtual volunteer opportunities

Examples of Volunteering which cannot be logged as Community Service

  • Any effort for which the student is paid (e.g. cash, gift card, etc.) or receives other significant compensation (e.g. anything of significant monetary value).
  • Service for Sanction
  • Driving time to and from volunteer experiences and travel, leisure, and sleep time on an away service trip.
  • Time spent in service-learning classrooms or doing class work that will be turned in for credit. 
  • Shadowing experiences or self-improvement experiences. Examples include Red Cross CPR training, leadership courses, job shadowing, and in-class preparation for service-learning projects.
  • Time spent in general student club or organization activities, fundraisers for the student organization, and meetings.
  • Performance, rehearsal, practice, artistic creation and set-up/take-down time if the community benefit is secondary to the real purpose of the program; for instance if a jazz ensemble dedicates its spring concert to a local organization, but the concert was primarily an academic program requirement, the hours may not be logged as community service.
  • Time spent in class, socializing, or sleeping while a service or companion animal accompanies you may not be logged as service hours.
  • Service to family members and neighbors that has not been coordinated in some way through a Community Partner does not constitute community service. 
  • Faith-based service benefiting only those of a specific congregation or creed, or spent studying or proselytizing a specific faith.  
  • Partisan political activities, such as volunteering on campaigns.
  • Hours for donations or time spent collecting items or donating money to organizations (this includes blood donations)

Last updated: 3/26/2024