Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the timeline and application process for this program?

The Civic Engagement Scholars Program will kick scholars training groupoff on Thursday, August 23, 2018. Students will have until Friday, May 10, 2019 to complete the program requirements and submit all necessary paperwork. All successful scholars will be recognized by Case Western Reserve University President Barbara Snyder at the Scholars recognition ceremony.

2. How do I LOG my Hours?

You can declare your primary site, log your hours, and submit your community-focused programs and final reflection through the Scholars Checklist.

3. How do I find a primary site where I can serve at least 20 hours?

If you do not have a primary site in mind, our resources for identifying potential partner sites is a good starting point. You can set up a community service advising meeting with CCEL to discuss your interests, and we can provide you with some recommendations. Email if you would like to set-up a meeting.

4. How can I complete my 50-hour community service requirement?

At least 20 hours must be performed at one nonprofit organization or school in the Cleveland community, which is called your "primary site." The remaining 30 hours can be completed in a number of other ways. Some options include:

  • Complete all 50 hours at the same nonprofit organization or school. Many agencies are happy to work with committed volunteers who are able to dedicate a significant amount of time to their organizations.
  • Participate in on-campus service events that benefit a nonprofit or school (e.g. volunteer at Relay For Life, make blankets for Project Linus, make cards for Rainbow Babies, etc). Participation in philanthropy activities (e.g. walks, dances, dinners) will not count towards the Scholars service requirement.
  • Volunteer through the CCEL SERVES program. Students can select one CCEL SERVES site as their primary site, or do extra hours at various CCEL SERVES sites.
  • Participate in service days including the New Student Service Day, Graduate Service Event or Saturdays of Service.
  • Donate blood at an American Red Cross blood drive. Students can earn one service hour per blood drive donation.
  • Volunteer at an American Red Cross blood drive.

Please refer to the following table for a summary of what can and cannot count towards your Scholars service requirement.

What you CAN count as service hours What you CANNOT count as service hours
Time spent volunteering with a nonprofit, school or public agency Time spent participating in philanthropy activities (running at a charity race, donating cans to a food drive, etc)
Time spent traveling to the service site in a bus or vehicle Time spent in student organization business or general body meetings.
Time spent at trainings or orientations that are required by the nonprofit or school Time spent shadowing a professional or at an organization
Time volunteering during fall/winter/spring break in your hometown or abroad (non primary site hours) Time spent volunteering at a family business or at a for profit company
Work study or credit bearing time at a nonprofit or school (up to 20 hours)
5. Can I count hours served at a nonprofit or school if I am receiving a stipend, work-study, or course credit for my time?

Students receiving a stipend, course credit (e.g. nursing clinicals, service learning courses), or work-study (e.g. AmericaReads) for their time at a nonprofit or school may count up to 20 of these hours toward the 50-hour service requirement. On your Scholars Checklist timesheet, be sure to check the "compensated/credit" box next to those hours.

6. What Can count towards the scholars Educational electives?

A Scholars Educational Elective is an educational program that furthers your knowledge or understanding of one or more of the Scholars learning outcomes. Scholars must attend at least 2 Scholars Educational Electives during the academic year, and write a short reflection about what they learned at each program, which is submitted through the Scholars Checklist. This website provides the broad topic areas of electives, but programs do not have to be pre-approved by CCEL.

Please note, the Scholars fall kick-off and spring Social Justice Teach-In DO NOT count as Scholars electives, since they are required All-Scholars trainings.

7. Can I count hours that I am also counting toward community service hours for my Greek or student organization?

The Civic Engagement Scholars program permits you to count these hours—as long as they meet the Scholars program criteria and guidelines.

8. Why do I have to volunteer 20 hours at a nonprofit in the Cleveland community?

One of the main goals of the Civic Engagement Scholars program is to foster connections between students at Case Western Reserve University and members of the Greater Cleveland community. Although volunteer service is valuable in any part of the world, as residents of Cleveland, civic engagement scholars are expected to contribute a significant amount of time to the local community.

9. I did a lot of volunteer work last summer. Can I count these hours toward the civic engagement scholars requirements?

Service hours performed before August 23, 2018 will not count toward the 50 service-hour requirement for this year's Scholars program. If you participated in the CCEL First-Year Service Day during Orientation Week on August 23, you may count those service hours.