Campuses That Are Making Community Service a Priority
Colleges aren’t just about studying, exams, tuition and the chance to live away from home. Community service is becoming a bigger part of college life at some schools. Funding through organizations like the Corporation for National & Community Service helps to drive community service and college volunteer efforts. So too do social service majors, a student’s search for the “right” career path and the opportunity for a student to distinguish herself from other advanced academic program applicants. Benefits of community volunteerism range from early work experience, eligibility for certain scholarships and grants, academic credit and life skills.
15 Colleges With Strong Community Service Programs
10 Top College Social Service Programs
Social service majors work with infants, youth and aging adults. These people may be dealing with mental health issues, poverty, illiteracy, abuse, physical disabilities or chronic health conditions. For social service majors, it can be rewarding to improve the community by doing the work that helps the head of a family learn to read, strengthen an abused child’s self-esteem or teach a family how to get out of poverty. Non-profit, public and private organizations may require social service workers to possess undergraduate or graduate degrees. These 10 college social service programs are known for linking academics and community service.
University of California-Berkeley
The University of California-Berkeley
has more than 75 years of social welfare education
experience. Undergraduate and graduate social welfare degrees are awarded. The more than 350 community field education placements at the school serve as a route to firsthand social work experience.
University of Georgia
Dual social work degrees are conferred at the University of Georgia
. Concentrations prepare students to integrate advanced social and community work skills and knowledge in support that they provide youth, adults and families. Areas explored during coursework includes the role that environment plays on human behavior, poverty and health issues. Field education, diversity and assessment and psychopathology are other areas covered during the training that is administered within the school’s School of Social Work
deepens learning in its School of Social Work by offering a blend of classroom, field experience and study abroad opportunities. Specialties that faculty have deep knowledge in are women’s issues, social welfare policy, gender issues and social welfare history. More than 13 social work academic fields
and centers for learning are at Rutgers University.
University of Michigan-Dearborn
At the University of Michigan-Dearborn
, students declare majors in behavioral sciences and social sciences. Lab, health policy studies and organizational and community internships are included in the Department of Behavioral Sciences
programs. Disciplines in the Social Sciences program
are political science, geography, history, political science and economics.
University of Chicago
Social thought is just one field that the University of Chicago
awards social welfare and social science degrees in. Comparative human development and sociology are among the other specialties. Research and internship experiences within the Division of Social Sciences
are enhanced by community discussion forums and workshops. The Becker Friedman Institute and the Institute for Mind and Biology are two of the school’s four social science institutes and centers.
is known for its master of social work degree. Both the graduate and undergraduate program are taught through the School of Social Work
. Mental health and addictions are primary areas that master of social work graduates practice in, making the university one of the top providers of mental health caregivers.
offers advanced social science students the chance to expand their education within the honors program. Four pillars that the honors program
focuses on are community, service, research and leadership.
College of William & Mary
Within the Community Engagement
division at the College of William & Mary
, students get to work on community organized programs like the New Kent County Department of Social Services program that offers assistance to needy families, child care and adoption services. Interdisciplinary degrees are structured and self-designed. Social science majors access the counseling center and health center to sharpen their learning.
Fellowship support, innovation, global learning and workshops that focus on community and social solutions are hallmarks of Boston College
‘s School of Social Work
. The school is committed to extending learning beyond classroom settings through social symposiums and an examination of social interventions
is known for clinical social work learning. The master of social work
program is globally recognized. Graduates get skills to work with individuals and families in clinical environments, focusing on areas like gender, trauma, race, class and theory.
7 Ways To Get The Most From Colleges That Value Community Service
According to college admissions advisors, students can never have too much volunteer work. The important factor is the area that students volunteer in. For example, a senior college student who volunteers 500 hours a year tutoring freshmen engineering majors could signal to graduate college admissions counselors that the senior has deep interest in engineering. A combination of high entrance exam scores, good essays and proven interest in a major could help a student get admitted into widely respected academic programs.
That’s just one way to get the most from colleges that value community service. Here are six other ways for students to make attending colleges that value community service support them while they are in school and after they graduate.
- Add community service work to resumes. Community service may be the only work experience that new college students have. This would could serve as the beginnings of a professional resume.
- Network with public service leaders who work at volunteer or community organizations. These may be hospital administrators, mayors, heads of family service agencies and military leaders.
- Tie community service efforts with personal passions. It might even be possible to complete internships through community service programs.
- Seek programs that offer academic credit for community service. Students could check with academic advisors to get a list of credits that colleges that value community service offer for community-based work.
- Participate in community service programs that put students in direct contact with hiring managers. Major corporations offer grants to service oriented organizations. Some of the grant funds are used to host gala fundraisers like elegant dinners and golf outings. Getting a seat at these events could put students in touch with senior leaders at major corporations.
- Apply for scholarships and grants that require students to complete community service. Students may need to volunteer in specific fields to qualify for the funding.
Scholarship and Grants at Colleges With Strong Community Service Programs
Following are scholarships and grants that are designed for students eager to combine community service and college. As with traditional scholarships and grants, essays may be required to complete these scholarship and grant applications.
Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship
Approximately $1,000 awarded to students who work to improve their communities.
Horatio Alger Association Scholarship
Awards scholarships in the amount of $25,000 to students who are active in the community.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship
Eligible to students with academic and community service strength.
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Focuses on students who are determined to create positive change in the world.
Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
Awarded to students who demonstrate strong leadership, community service and academic excellence.
Burger King Scholars Program
Up to $50,000 is awarded through the program. A strong GPA, community service and extracurricular experience are needed.