What counts as service learning hours?

Hours must be completed through a non-profit (501c3), government agency or school. A faith-based organization can be approved as long as the service is part of their outreach to other non-profits in the community. Service hours completed at senior/retirement centers, both for and non-profit, will count.

Working without pay at your job or for a family business does not qualify as Service Learning. The goal of Service Learning is to learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service experiences.

Examples of general volunteer work that will count toward Service Learning Hours:

  • Hospitals
  • Non-profit animal services
  • Any healthcare/illness related non-profits
  • Non-profit environmental agencies
  • Senior Centers/Assisted-Living Communities (both for- and non-profits)
  • City beautification projects
  • Museums
  • Veterans services
  • School-Related (NOTE:  Any school-related service activity must be focused on serving the school community at large, not just an individual. All hours must be completed outside of the regular school day hours.


Examples of Service Learning that will count:

  • Volunteering with a school-based club by organizing or working at a school food/book/clothing drive (Donations do not count toward service hours; the planning or actual service does)
  • Performing with your school choir/band/theater group for a senior center, nursing home, daycare, etc. Outside of school hours and not for school credit
  • Managing or coaching younger teams of students in middle or elementary school under education and enrichment activities for children
  • Tutoring students as part of a school club or non-profit agency


Examples of Service Learning that will count:

  • Working at concession stands to raise money for clubs or for-profit businesses
  • Holding a car wash or other fundraiser that benefits a school club or sports team (If the proceeds benefit a nonprofit (501c3) organization, the hours would count).School club hours do not count for general business/meetings (however, time spent planning and participating in volunteer service benefitting the outside community will count).
  • Hosting students from other schools or international exchange students


Faith-Based Service Learning Hours

Many of the hours served with your faith-based community may be counted depending on the type of service activity. Please read the guidelines below carefully as not all hours will count:

Faith-based hours that will count toward SL must benefit the external community. These would be considered part of an outreach program:

  • Volunteering with a church-run food bank, clothing bank, or congregate meal service
  • Volunteering for an outside nonprofit (501c3) community-based organization
  • Performing volunteer service work on a mission trip (like rebuilding a community after a disaster, building a school, digging a well, etc.)

Faith-based hours that will not count toward SL:

  • Volunteering in the church choir, band, or performances
  • Volunteering to usher in church
  • Volunteering in a faith-based nursery during services or classes
  • Volunteering to visit members, proselytize, run a booth to pass out faith-specific information, etc.

Can I count hours from club meetings?

If you participate in a school service club, you may count any hours that are spent organizing and implementing a service project. If you are in a club that uses meeting times to discuss other club business, you may not count those hours. There must be a supervisor present.

I have to complete community service hours for a class. Can I count these hours?

Any hours completed as a requirement for a class, do not count toward your SL hours.

Can I count my time babysitting or helping out my neighbor with yard work?

This work does not count for SL hours, but would count towards community service hours.