Service Learning and Volunteerism FAQs

What is the difference between service learning and volunteerism?

  • Both service learning and volunteerism benefit the community
  • Service learning is connected to a particular course and helps you learn the course material. To earn service learning hours:
    • your instructor must provide service learning as part of the curriculum (either required or optional)
    • you must document the connection between your service and the course content

Will my volunteerism that is not sponsored by MWCC qualify me for the MWCC Service Learning and Volunteerism Recognition Program?

You may only count service and volunteerism that is sponsored by MWCC towards recognition at graduation. However, you may use GivePulse to document and verify private volunteer activities, such as coaching your child’s soccer team or serving as a scout leader.  You may retain your account after graduation (or transfer from MWCC). Your verified private community service record in GivePulse might be useful in a future job application, college transfer application, or scholarship application.

How do I document my service hours?

  • Hours should be documented through GivePulse, for service and/or volunteerism.
  • If you are documenting your MWCC-sponsored volunteerism (not service learning for an MWCC course), please click here for guidance.
  • If you are documenting your service learning for an MWCC course, please check with your instructor whether GivePulse training will be offered during class. If no training is offered during class, please contact the Brewer Center to arrange brief individual training. Training can be conducted by phone or in person and takes about 10-15 minutes.
  • All timesheets must be approved by the MWCC course instructor, MWCC student club advisor, or MWCC program administrator.  Some courses and programs require verification of your timesheet by the off-campus service site, as well.

What are the reporting deadlines?

Reporting deadlines can be found here.

I reported MWCC service learning hours when MWCC was using NobleHour. Does it count towards recognition at graduation?

Yes. All approved service learning hours for prior academic years (after 2006) should appear on your transcript. The transition between NobleHour and GivePulse will be ongoing, but students should see transcript notations this spring for previous semesters.

Can I still report the MWCC student club volunteerism or MWCC program volunteerism I completed during last year?

No.  All hours must be reported by June 30th of each year in order to be included within the previous academic year.

How can I review the service learning and volunteer timesheets I have already submitted?

You can review your timesheets submitted to date in GivePulse.

I’m not graduating this year. Do I still come to the MWCC Service Learning and Volunteerism Celebration to pick up a pin or medallion?

No. Pins and medallions are distributed to graduating students for recognition at Graduation. If you qualify for a pin or medallion this year but will graduate in the future, please be assured that the transcript notations of your service will qualify you to receive your pin or medallion at your actual graduation. (Note: If you are not graduating, you might be invited to the Celebration and recognized based on individual merit and contributions to the community.)

  • If you are graduating — but not participating in Graduation — you may still attend the MWCC Service Learning and Volunteerism Celebration, where you will receive your pin or medallion

What happens if my service timesheets are not approved by the deadline?

It is your responsibility to obtain verification for your service hours from the host site and approval from your faculty member or club advisor. Without verification, we will not be able to approve the service hours and you will not receive recognition, including pins, medallions, qualification for the PVSA, and transcript notations.

My timesheet has not been verified by my site for several days or weeks. What might be happening?

  • If you had to type your site supervisor’s email address into GivePulse when you setup your timesheets, did you type your site supervisor’s email address correctly? Please confirm with your site that the email address you used on your timesheet(s) is indeed correct.
    • If you have discovered that you typed the email address incorrectly, the timesheet did not reach the site for verification. Students needing assistance with this task are also welcome to contact the Brewer Center for step-by-step guidance.
  • If you typed your site supervisor’s email address correctly before submitting your timesheets and your site supervisor reports that he or she did not receive the email notifications of your timesheet(s) from GivePulse, please contact the Brewer Center to request that the links to your timesheet(s) be re-sent to your supervisor for verification.
  • Did you contact your site supervisor to ask if he or she received an email from GivePulse on the day (or days) you submitted your timesheet? Please be sure to ask your site supervisor to check his or her Junk Email folder, just to be sure.

I am not a member of an MWCC Club, but I have volunteered to help out at MWCC events. Do I have to be a club member to report my volunteer service to MWCC?

No, you do not have to be a member of an MWCC club or organization to have provided volunteer service to MWCC. Many MWCC students each year volunteer their time wherever needed around campus!

  • For guidance reporting this type of volunteer service to MWCC, please contact the Brewer Center far in advance of the May reporting deadline (for graduating students) or the June reporting deadline (for all other students).

What are the eligibility requirements for the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)?

Please visit our President’s Volunteer Service Award page for eligibility requirements.

  • Can my private volunteerism not related to MWCC count toward the PVSA?
    • As a certifying organization for the PVSA, MWCC is authorized to administer the PVSA for MWCC volunteers. MWCC is not authorized to administer the PVSA for volunteers in programs not sponsored by MWCC.

I completed an MWCC co-op or internship at a for-profit company. Does that qualify me for a service pin or service medallion?

No. However, students who have completed an MWCC co-op will receive a transcript notation of the total co-op hours completed. Individual exceptions may apply if your work was done for a community benefiting program in a for-profit organization and is unpaid; however, PRIOR approval must be obtained from the Director of the Brewer Center.

I completed an MWCC co-op, internship or externship at a non-profit company. Does that qualify me for a service pin or service medallion?

Yes. Internships and externships including — but not limited to – the Human Services, Criminal Justice, Energy Management, and Medical Office Certificate programs are eligible for pins and medallions. These courses are specifically defined as service learning, as they contain a structured reflection component.

Does travel time to/from my service site count toward total service time?

No.

I am transferring out of MWCC. Can I still receive a service pin or service medallion?

Please contact the Brewer Center after May 1st (but before June 30th) to arrange to pickup of your pin or your medallion.

I have completed (or am currently completing) a practicum. Can my practicum hours count toward a service pin or a service medallion?

Practicums, clinicals, field experiences and independent studies do not currently qualify the student for the MWCC Service Learning and Volunteerism Recognition Program.

I finished my degree (or certificate) in December and have been approved to participate in Graduation in May. Can I still qualify for a service pin or service medallion?

Yes, and you will receive an invitation to the Service Learning and Volunteerism Celebration.

I will graduate in August but have been approved to participate in Graduation in May. Can I qualify for a service pin or service medallion?

Yes, and you will receive an invitation to the Service Learning and Volunteerism Celebration.

I might undertake service learning or MWCC club volunteerism during the Summer semester. Am I required to document my hours and have my timesheets approved by the June deadline?

Yes AND No. Students who undertake service learning during Maymester or Summer I sessions ARE required to report hours by June 30th. Summer II hours must be reported by September 1st.

Where can I find my service notation on my transcript?

  1. Use WebConnect to find your unofficial transcript online. Instructions for printing or viewing your grades (your unofficial transcript) can be found here
  2. While viewing your unofficial transcript on your computer screen (or on a printout), find the section titled TRANSCRIPT TOTALS, as shown below.  If you received approval for a service learning transcript notation, a transcript event titled Service Learning will appear.  If you received approval for a notation of MWCC-affiliated volunteerism, a transcript event titled Volunteer will appear.  There are also Service Learning Internship and Internship/Co-op notations for students who receive approval for such notations:

Location of transcript notations on unofficial transcript -- annotated -- no student information

The details of the notation — the hours, the course (if service learning), and the semester — “run together” on the unofficial transcript, but will indeed print on separate lines on official transcripts.

These notations appear near the upper left corner of the first page of the official transcript.


For any additional clarification, please contact Julie Cronin at jcronin8@mwcc.mass.edu or Shelley Errington Nicholson at mnicholson5@mwcc.mass.edu.