Community Service & Learning Opportunities
To complement their classroom learning, many Kent State University students voluntarily perform community service through on- and off-campus programs and organizations. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, make friends, create lifelong memories and give back to the community and to those in need.
What Is Community-Based Learning and Service?
Kent State University will present you with opportunities to learn, assist others, serve your community and make a difference because a great university cannot be great unless its students are known for giving back to their community. Community service challenges you to alter your perceptions of people and life. It elicits growth on so many levels — with mutual benefit to you and those you serve. You will be empowered to change the world around you and will empower others in your community. You will realize that you can, indeed, make a palpable difference as you become connected to the communities where you serve.
Why Should You Be Engaged in Your Community?
- Benefits the community
- Develops your research, critical thinking and interpersonal skills
- Teaches you how to access the larger community as a resource for skill-building and learning
- Helps you identify multiple stakeholders and their interests and to see multiple viewpoints
- Allows interaction with diverse populations
- Provides career experience
- Engages you in community problem-solving at local, national and international levels
- Encourages commitment to the community
- Enables you to apply skills and concepts learned in class
- Increases self-esteem
- Increases feeling of satisfaction with university experience
- Enables higher GPA potential
Community-Based Learning and Service Programs
Many programs are available to fit your schedule, talents and interests — contact us for more information!
Super Service Saturdays
- Join us as we learn and serve in areas surrounding our campus. On any given Saturday you will find many Kent State students engaging in service and making a difference! Transportation is provided. No experience or long-term commitment needed.
Days of Service
- Join us on several national and local day of service events, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Youth Day of Service, Make-a-Difference Day, etc.
- The program pairs domestic and international students for cultural exchange and conversation practice — a great way to learn and make friends!
- Federal Work Study Employment Utilize your financial aid award to work in a nonprofit community agency, doing valuable service while getting paid!
- Work with children and help them learn! Great opportunity to develop long-term relationships with youth K-12. Mentor and encourage them to excel in school and in their communities.
Alternative Break and Weekend Service Trips
Join us for a weekend immersion trip or for our Alternative Spring Break experiences.
Alternative Spring Break Experiences
In 2010, these experiences were held in Buffalo, N.Y.; Spencer, W.Va.; Washington, D.C.; and East Liverpool, Ohio. Students participated in a variety of service projects and explored a variety of social justice issues.
Weekend Immersion Experiences
The immersion trips are designed for busy students and are scheduled on single weekends. You’ll explore social justice issues in urban and rural settings. Some direct service is involved.
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. For more information about what service-learning classes are being offered, contact Jeffrey Pellegrino in the Faculty Professional Development Center.
Student Service Organizations
Many Kent State student organizations have a service component, including most fraternities, sororities and religious organizations. Visit the Center for Student Involvement for more information.
Alpha Phi Omega
- National service fraternity
- Provides services to the university and city and participates in global service projects alongside Kiwanis International.
Habitat for Humanity
- Aids in eliminating poverty housing around the world by providing homes, fundraising and increasing awareness to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
- National Christian Women’s Service Organization
Kent Student Ambassadors
- Serves as student representatives to current and prospective students, members of the community, alumni, faculty and administration.
- An association of individuals selected for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership and service.
Natural Path Mediation Group Operation Smile
- Raises money to assist medical teams sent all over the world to provide services to children suffering from cleft lips and palates.
Relay for Life
- Fundraises for American Cancer Society.
- Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk. TOMS students make a difference.
UNICEF-Kent State University
- A student group supporting the work of UNICEF around the globe
United Way Kent State
- Students support the work of our county United Way and participate in service to United Way agencies
Kent State University works with community agencies and organizations to promote area economic development, assist in providing social services and better utilize the community resources to educate students. Kent State has developed long-term relationships with many organizations to match your talents and goals for making a difference. And we’d love to help connect you to a service opportunity you are passionate about! Below is a sampling of some of our partners:
- Akron Canton Regional Foodbank
- Boys and Girls Club of Summit County
- Catholic Charities of Portage County
- Family and Community Services
- Four Seasons at Kent
- Freedom House
- Goodwill Industries
- Habitat for Humanity
- Hattie Larlham
- Haven of Rest
- Hospice of Visiting Nurses
- In Home Hospice Solutions
- Kent City
- Kent Parks and Recreation
- Kent Social Services
- King Kennedy Community Center
- MedWish International
- Miller Community House
- Portage Learning Center — Project Head Start
- Red Cross of Portage County
- Robinson Memorial Hospital
- Safer Futures
- Salvation Army of Portage County
- Senior Nutrition Program
- Senior Track
- Skeels Community Center
- St. Joseph’s Child Care and Preschool
- Stow Glen Retirement Village