University Relations
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Community Engagement Scholars Program:

More About Hours


Balancing Commitment and Experience

In order to ensure that the Community Engagement Scholar and the host organization receive the greatest benefit possible, participants in the program are strongly encouraged to complete a minimum of 20 hours at each community organization. Sustained commitments made by a student to an organization over an extended period of time (6 months to a year) will generate the greatest amount of learning and community benefit. We also encourage students to work with at least two different types of organizations throughout their participation in the Scholars Program.


Unlimited and Restricted Hours
Students may record up to 400 unlimited community engagement hours, which may include:
  • Engagement performed through a non-profit, public agency, or student organization that meets a need in the broader community (i.e. beyond the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities).*
  • Unpaid internships with non-profit or public agencies
  • Engagement through a faith-based organization that benefits the broader community (e.g. working in an after-school program, food shelf, homeless shelter)
  • Involvement through a non-partisan political organization (e.g. Progressive MN, Sierra Club)
  • Meeting, planning, and set-up hours (indirect engagement), provided these preparations are for a service that will benefit the broader community, beyond the University.
* Community engagement in the campus community may be considered, subject to written request and approval from the Community Engagement Scholars Advisory Board.


Restricted Hours
Students may record up to 200 total hours in the restricted category:
  • Community activities completed as part of a course or degree requirement, including engagement hours completed for designated service-learning courses (this includes service-learning courses taken to fulfill the 8-credit Scholars Program requirement).
  • Paid service (through work-study, a paid internship, or a job with a nonprofit or public agency)
  • Involvement through a partisan political organization (e.g., DFL, Republican party)

Unusable Hours
Students may not record:
  • Work done as part of a for-profit organization.
  • Court-mandated community service.
  • Service completed independent of an established organization.
  • More than 50 hours of community work completed prior to enrollment in the Scholars program. (Retroactive Recognition).